Qatar reports 59 new coronavirus cases, total up to 693

Qatari police stand outside a hotel in Doha where people have been quarantining over fears of coronavirus, on March 12, 2020. (AFP)

Qatar confirmed on Monday 59 new coronavirus cases, raising the total number of cases in the country up to 693, the ministry of health said.

The ministry said some of the new cases were related to travelers returning to the country recently, especially those arriving from the UK and others were due to contact with previous cases who had been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

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The death toll remains at one person as announced on Saturday, a 57-year-old Bangladeshi who suffered from chronic diseases.

Three people recovered raising the total number of recovered cases up to 59.

Preventative measures to combat the spread of COVID-19

On Friday, 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 last week 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 mosques and suspended communal religious prayers, including Friday prayers.

It also banned 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 last week 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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Last Update: 06:57 KSA 09:57 - GMT 06:57
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