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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Two more victims die of Covid-19 as cases surge in Qatar


With community and travel cases rising in the country, more victims are being lost to Covid-19.

Two patients lost their lives to Covid-19 in just one day, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said, as the total number of active cases continue to surge in the country despite restrictions.

On Saturday, authorities reported 614 new Covid-19 cases, the highest number since July 5th, bringing the number of current active cases to 14,296. 

Out of the 614 cases, 131 were travellers returning from abroad, the highest in months. It is still unclear why the numbers increased despite strict precautionary measures at the airport, which also requires negative PCR tests to board the plane. 

Residents have raised concerns about the latest numbers, questioning whether they should cancel their travel plans to avoid complications that may come with a sudden lockdown.

“I booked a ticket to go see my family after months of not seeing them. I plan to travel after I get my second dose of vaccination, but looking at the restrictions and number of cases right now, I am a little skeptical about leaving. They might close the airport at any second,” a pharmacist told Doha News. 

With the latest two deaths, aged 74 and 90, the number of fatalities caused by the virus has hit 284 – an almost 15% increase since the start of 2021. In the last two weeks, 18 people have lost their lives to Covid-19, a spike that might be attributed to the new, harsher variants currently spreading in Qatar. 

Read also: 33-year-old dies from Covid-19 as Qatar mulls more restrictions.

Last week, health officials attributed the increase in the number of cases to a more lax attitude by the general public as well as the presence of the new UK strain.

More infections among family members have also been recorded.

“We were able to contain the infection rate in February, but the cases recently began increasing and we are now seeing a second wave,” the Head of Infectious Diseases Division at Hamad MEdical Corporation Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal confirmed.

Read also: Qatar clamps down with more restrictions as Covid-19 cases surge

Following the daily increase, most of which local, Qatar’s Cabinet imposed further restrictions to curb the spread of the virus. 

The restrictions, imposed last week, including allowing only a maximum of five people to gather in open spaces.

Indoor gatherings are now banned, as are both indoor and outdoor weddings. Playgrounds at public parks will also close and gatherings at beaches and winter camps are restricted to family members of the same household.

Gyms and sports clubs, massage and jacuzzi services, saunas, steam rooms and Moroccan and Turkish baths will also be closed until further notice, the ministry announced.

Children under the age of 12 are also banned from entering shopping centres. 

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