Qatar coronavirus cases top 100,000 as restrictions ease

The Gulf state announced 546 new cases and five more deaths from the virus on Monday.

al-monitor Men wearing protective masks walk on a plastic pier at Katara Beach in the Qatari capital Doha on July 1, 2020, as the country moves into the second phase of its four-step plan to lift its COVID-19 lockdown.  Photo by KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images.

Jul 6, 2020

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Qatar has passed 100,000, the Health Ministry said Monday as the country continues with its gradual reopening.  

The Ministry of Public Health announced 546 new cases and five more deaths from the virus, bringing the total to 100,345 cases and 133 deaths in the Gulf state of 2.7 million people.

Despite the high number of cases, Qatar has an unusually low fatality rate of just 0.1%. In a recent interview with Al-Monitor, Meshal Al-Thani, Qatar’s ambassador to the United States, credited the low number of deaths with the “early and proactive actions of the government,” including mandatory mask use. 

Citing the “weakening amount of virus cases,” the government announced last week it would further ease restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of the virus. Mosques have resumed services to a limited number of worshippers and parks, beaches and boardwalks are now open to pedestrian traffic.

Libraries, museums and offices can reopen at a limited capacity. Private gatherings must not exceed five people and masks are required in public except when exercising. 

Qatar Airways plans to expand service to more than 65 locations worldwide by mid-July. Last week, the state carrier announced passengers would be required to wear a face shield in addition to a face mask or covering throughout their flights. 

After Saudi Arabia, which has recorded more than 210,000 infections, Qatar leads with the second highest number of cases in the Gulf region. On Monday, health authorities in Kuwait announced their tally had passed 50,000.

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