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The lockdown of the Industrial Area portion will be lifted gradually in a way that guarantees safety for residents of the area and society as a whole.
This was announced by HE Lolwah bint Rashid al Khater, Spokesperson for the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management, at a press conference on Thursday.
“The work has already been started for the gradual opening of this area and plans are afoot to bring back life to normal soon,” she said, adding that the details of the plan will be announced in the coming days.
Khater added, “This closure experience is not the one of its kind in the world. Though a little difficult, it is a necessary option in view of the COVID-19 crisis. The authorities are trying their best to mitigate its consequences, whether on the residents of the area or on employers,” Khater said.
She said the health campaigns in terms of the number of examinations, sterilisation and disinfection, and care for residents of that area is going on unabated.
As part of continuous efforts to mitigate the consequences of the precautionary measures on all who live in Qatar, she said, it has been decided to provide all necessary facilities to domestic workers to open bank accounts, including exempting them from the minimum requirement to open the account and facilitate them to make bank transfers to their home countries and families. Khater stressed on the importance of solidarity among all members of society to overcome this crisis.
On the celebration of the World Health Day, Khater thanked the entire health sector, including officials, doctors, nurses, and administrators, and everyone working in this vital sector for their efforts.
Khater thanked Minister of Public Health HE Dr Hanan Mohammed al Kuwari, who chose to stay away from media appearances to stay alongside her colleagues, day and night, to protect members of society.
Khater also highlighted the Cabinet decision to stop all commercial activities in stores and offices on Fridays and Saturdays, except for the following activities:
1- Food and supply outlets (hypermarket, supermarket, and groceries)
2- Vegetable sales outlets
3- Restaurants (delivery only)
4- Bakeries
5- Pharmacies
6- Telecommunications companies (located in the hypermarket)
7- Home maintenance companies (electricity, plumbing, and electronics)
8- Petroleum stations
9- Factories
10- Clinics (committed to the decision of the Ministry of Public Health)
11- Contracting companies operating in the state’s projects
12- Companies operating in the hotel sector
13- Logistic services companies, freight companies, companies operating in ports and airports, and customs services.
Khater pointed out that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry confirmed that violating this decision will bring the perpetrators to legal accountability.
Khater gave an explanation about the evolution of COVID-19 cases in Qatar according to the date of the testing, where she made it clear that the committee’s last press conference explained the reason for the rise of the indicator at some points due to a set of reasons, particularly the discovery of transitional chains in some areas between expats and the return of many travellers to Qatar, as many of them were infected with the virus.
She said the graphs showed during last week the percentage of infection at the quarantine was much more than the percentage of infection outside the quarantine, which means that the cases discovered inside the quarantine are still much higher and constitute 72 percent of the cases discovered.
She said the percentage of infections outside the quarantine has risen to 26 percent as compared to 16 percent from last time. She said information about 2 percent of cases are still not available and they will be updated soon.
Khater said the increase of infection percentage within the community was due to the increase of the percentage of testing, which is a healthy thing.
She said part of the infections is due to the lack of commitment of individuals to the precautionary measures.
Khater pointed out that the graphs of the degree of infections are very reassuring as 90 percent of the cases are mild. “The cases of recovery are increasing, while the risk ratio and serious cases of infection are estimated at approximately 2 percent with about 20 cases left intensive care and 37 cases are still in intensive care,” she said.
Concerning the six deaths so far, she said the main cause of death for two of the six cases was not COVID-19 infection, but other causes, as both cases were old and had chronic diseases. She said the direct cause of death of the other four cases was COVID-19 infection.
She pointed out that 86 percent of infected people are male, and 14 percent are female.
Regarding recovery cases, she said more than 77 percent of recovery cases are male and 22 percent are female. About 37 percent of recovery cases are between 25 and 34 years of age.
Khater reviewed the precautionary measures implemented at the ports, which started in February, including the reduction in number of workers, prevention of sailors from going to the berth, and the prevention of the sailors’ change at the state’s ports, in addition to examining the employees coming from abroad, sterilizing the port facilities, distributing masks and sterilisers, and temporarily stopping work until further notice, except for the flour mill.
She reviewed several stats related to the performance of the ports in the first quarter of 2020, as the number of ships exceeded 800 ships, containers surpassed 335,000 containers, cars and equipment exceeded 20,000, and construction and building materials passed 81,000 tons, which means the performance and the pace are very good.
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