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Wear masks or face jail, Qatar warns public amid coronavirus outbreak Open in fullscreen

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Wear masks or face jail, Qatar warns public amid coronavirus outbreak

Qatar has reported over 11,000 cases of Covid-19 [Getty]

Date of publication: 28 April, 2020

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Qatari authorities have warned that harsh penalties and a prison sentence face those who flout the new rules.
A law requiring face masks to be worn by shoppers and workers came into effect in Qatar on Sunday amid the Gulf state's efforts to battle its coronavirus outbreak.

Qatar's Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) warned that those who violate the rules face up to three years in prison and a fine of up to QR200,000 ($55,000).

A circular issued by the MoCI stated: "based on the decision of the Cabinet and as part of preventive and precautionary measures taken by the State to curb the spread of the coronavirus, and to complement previous decisions and precautionary measures and in the interest of public safety, it has been decided to obligate employees and workers in the government and private sectors whose nature their work requires providing services to the public and customers to wear masks while carrying out their duties and tasks."

The circular added that clients of businesses are also required to wear masks or be prevented from entry.

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On Tuesday, Qatar's health ministry confirmed a total of 667 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infections in the Gulf state to 11,911.

The ministry also announced that 68 Covid-19 patients  had recovered from their illness, bringing the total number of recovered to 1,134. 

Qatar's Ministry of Public Health said the recent increase in Covid-19 cases indicates that the Gulf state has entered the peak stage of its outbreak. It added that the high number of confirmed new infections is also due to increased efforts to trace carriers of the virus.

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