Qatar: Closures on all shops except for food stores, pharmacies

Qatar’s high committee for crisis management told people to stay home and not leave except for necessity.

People wearing protective masks in Doha, Qatar [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]
Qatar, a nation of three million people, has recorded more than 400 cases of the virus in the past week [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Qatar announced the shuttering of all shops and bank branches in commercial complexes and shopping centres, except for food stores and pharmacies, in addition to closing down part of the Industrial Area for 14 days over fears of spreading coronavirus.

According to a statement from the country’s High Committee for Crisis Management, salaries will be paid for employees working in the closed part of the area.

Qatar, which has a total of 442 infected cases, has already shuttered mosques, banned the entry of non-citizens, and ordered the closure of bars, cinemas, and schools while suspending football matches and other sporting events.

“Social gatherings must be crucially avoided in the State of Qatar within the next two weeks,” the statement said. “The role of individuals in spreading awareness and cancelling public occasions is in the best interest of the public.”

The statement went on to stress the importance of people staying home and not leaving the house except for necessities, and to maintain “social distancing whenever possible, especially with the elderly and people suffering from chronic diseases”.

“This is to ensure everyone’s safety and security,” the statement added.

Barbershops and beauty salons will also be closed, including their home services, and hotel health club activities have been suspended until further notice.

Furthermore, all people coming to Qatar from any destination in the world will be quarantined immediately after their arrival for a period of 14 days.

Meanwhile, the assistant under-secretary for trade affairs, Saleh bin Majed al-Khulaifi, said the Qatar Central Bank would extend the loan period of all commercial companies by six months.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies