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More than 200 charged in Qatar for not wearing masks

COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing in Qatar, though hospitalizations remain low.
KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images

Hundreds of people in Qatar have been referred for prosecution for allegedly violating measures aimed at mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

The official Qatar News Agency reported today that 354 offenders have been referred for prosecution. The number includes 286 people charged with not wearing masks and 65 accused of not maintaining social distancing. Another three were charged with not downloading Qatar’s contact-tracing mobile application known as Ehteraz based on Decree Law No. 17, which tasks Qatar’s governmental cabinet with containing infectious diseases.

Qatar has instituted several strict measures throughout the COVID-19 pandemic such as the complete closure of gyms, restaurants and other facilities at times.

This is not the first time Qatari authorities have nabbed people for virus-related violations. In April 2021, more than 200 were referred to prosecutors for not wearing masks and violating quarantine rules.

COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing in Qatar. The Gulf state is currently averaging 3,800 new coronavirus cases a day. In early December, the daily average was around 150 cases, according to data from Reuters. Qatar has a population of around three million.

Hospitalizations related to the virus remain low in Qatar, however. Only seven people were hospitalized for the virus in the past 24 hours. Three of them were sent to intensive care units, according to data from the Qatari Ministry of Public Health.

While more than 77% of the Qatari population is vaccinated against COVID-19, cases are increasing throughout the Gulf.