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Wear mask or face prison, Qatar warns

By Mutala Yakubu
The tiny country has one of the world's highest per capita infection rates for coronavirus
The tiny country has one of the world's highest per capita infection rates for coronavirus
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Qatar has made the wearing of face masks compulsory, with anyone defying the order facing a jail term of up to three years or a fine of up to $55,000 (£45,000) for those who repeatedly fail to cover up.

The country has one of the highest per capita infection rates in the world for coronavirus: more than 30,000 people have tested positive out of a population of less than three million.

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Mosques, schools and shopping malls remain closed in the tiny Gulf state, one the world’s richest in terms of per capita income. Building sites are open with preventive measures in place in order to prepare for the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

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.

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.