Qatar detects 10 new coronavirus cases, total at 452

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The Qatari Ministry of Public Health said on Wednesday that it detected 10 new cases of coronavirus in the country, raising the total number of cases to 452.

The ministry said in a statement that the new cases were registered among the expatriate population, in addition to a case involving a Qatari citizen who returned recently from Switzerland.

It added that all those affected were under quarantine.

Qatar Airways laid off around 200 employees this week, all Filipino nationals based in Qatar, as the coronavirus outbreak forces the Middle East carrier to slash flights.

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Qatar shuts down shops, mosques

Qatar announced it was shutting down all shops and bank branches in shopping malls, except for food stores and pharmacies, on Tuesday, in measures aimed at halting the spread of coronavirus.

Salons, barber shops, spas at hotels and retail shops are also closed for the next two weeks.

The emirate also said it was closing down part of its Industrial Area for 14 days.

On the same day, Qatar announced it was closing mosques and suspending communal religious prayers, including Friday prayers, to limit the spread of coronavirus.

The move is in line with other regional countries who have also moved to limit interaction through community and religious practices.

On Monday, the UAE suspended prayer in all houses of worship including mosques across the country for four weeks.