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All non-vital commercial establishments to remain shut from Friday
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All non-vital commercial establishments to remain shut from Friday

Tribune News Network

Doha

All non-vital commercial outlets in Qatar will remain shut from Friday (March 27) to further intensify social distancing and help stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, according to government officials.

Shops selling food items, medical supplies and delivery service providers have been exempted while cafeterias, shoe and watch-repair shops, education support centres, entertainment and recreation service providers and wedding and event planners will have to down the shutters.

This was announced at a press conference addressed by Supreme Committee for Crisis Management Spokesperson Lolwah bint Rashid bin Mohammed al Khater and other officials.

Shops that are allowed to be open are required to close by 7 pm.

Considering the fact that airport closures around the world is hampering the return journey of many in Qatar, on-arrival and visit visas of those in Qatar will be extended by a month. The extension can be availed online, through the Ministry of Interior's website or through the Metrash smartphone application.

The majority of the 549 people tested positive for coronavirus in Qatar are young adults between the ages of 20 and 40. While 43 people have recovered from the disease. At least 18 people are in intensive care units, with the situation changing every day.

However, a few have been shifted out of ICUs after their conditions improved.

People with underlying conditions such as diabetics, heart, kidney and lung problems, the elderly and those taking immunosuppressive drugs are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. They should not leave home for the time being.

"We are working to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, and if we can implement preventive measures at individual and societal level for a period of four weeks, we will see a significant decline in the number of cases," said Hamad Medical Corporation's Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Abdullatif al Khal.

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