Qatar reports 144 new coronavirus cases, total up to three deaths and 949 cases

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Qatar confirmed on Thursday 144 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total tally in the country up to 949 cases and three deaths, according to the ministry of health.

The ministry said some of the new cases were related to travelers who returned to Qatar and others who had contact with people previously infected with the virus.

Visit our dedicated coronavirus site here for all the latest updates.

It added that the authorities conducted a total of 26,260 tests so far and reported 72 recovered patients.

Preventative measures to combat the spread of COVID-19

On March 27, Qatar closed all non-vital businesses until further notice as part of the country’s efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus, according to a government spokesperson, adding that vital sectors like supermarkets and pharmacies will remain open.

The government decided on March 18 to shut down all shops and bank branches in shopping malls, except for food stores and pharmacies, in addition to closing down part of the Industrial Area for 14 days as part of measures against the spread of the coronavirus.

Salons, barber shops, spas at hotels and retail shops are also part of the two-week closure.

The government also closed on March 17 mosques and suspended communal religious prayers, including Friday prayers.

It also banned on March 16 serving food in restaurants and cafes, allowing only delivery services and takeaway, and halted all forms of public transport.

Anti-coronavirus measures in the economic and financial sectors

Qatar's Emir also announced on March 15 several measures to shield the economic and financial sectors in the country from the impact of the coronavirus.

These include a QR 75 billion ($20.6 billion) stimulus package for the economy, a directive to government funds to increase their investments in the stock exchange by $2.75 billion, and an order for the central bank to provide increased liquidity.

Sectors including hospitality and tourism were also exempted from electricity and water fees for six months.

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