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Qatar requires negative PCR test for travelers from China as COVID-19 cases surge

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Qatar will now require travelers flying in from China to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival starting from Tuesday, the official Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported.

A test must be taken within 48 hours ahead of departure regardless of a traveler’s vaccination status, QNA added.

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Qatar has joined 16 other countries who imposed conditions on travelers from China, some of which have banned visitors from the country all together.

Morocco had on Saturday imposed an entry ban on Chinese travelers from January 3, citing concerns about the spread of “a new wave of infections.”

The Chinese government on December 7 ended its harsh zero-tolerance approach to containing the coronavirus without prior notice. The restrictions had included snap lockdowns, frequent mass testing, and largely closed borders.

Thousands of new COVID-19 cases are being reported in China every day, with the government’s top health authority saying that as many as 248 million people – nearly 18 percent of the total population – are estimated to have been infected in the first 20 days of December.

According to the London-based research firm Airfinity Ltd., which focuses on predictive health analytics, China could see as many as 25,000 deaths a day from COVID-19.

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