The Gulf nation has been witnessing a rise in daily Covid-19 cases in recent weeks.
Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health has reported an increase in reported Covid-19 cases compared to the previous month, as the lifting of some restrictions triggers more lax attitudes to the pandemic.
This week, health authorities reported a daily average of 323 cases among the community and 30 among travellers, as per figures from official weekly reports. On average, 238 people have recovered during the same period.
Last week, the daily average stood at 159 cases among the community and 19 among travellers.
On 13 June alone, a total of 443 cases were reported, a spike from the most recently recorded high of 300 on 1 March. This marks a 44% increase over the last few months, triggering concerns across the community on whether the country could face yet another wave just months away from the grand FIFA tournament.
Likewise, the number of those rushing to get tested after experiencing symptoms has also seen a spike, with data showing a total of 14,175 tests this week alone.
Despite the increase in numbers, no deaths have been reported in the last week, and the number of those admitted for hospital care remains low.
Similarly, no ICU admissions were made during the last week, suggesting the current virus strain is relatively less harsh than that of last year’s.
According to official figures, current active cases stand at 2,664 but continue to increase weekly.
Lifting of restrictions
Last month, health authorities further relaxed Covid-19 restrictions by lifting the mask mandate from most places, including indoors.
Authorities have also removed a requirement forcing unvaccinated employees in the government and private sectors to conduct Rapid Antigen tests weekly, putting an end to what many have dubbed a ‘rigorous’ process.
Prior to that, Doha also eased restrictions for those entering the country in preparation for the much-awaited tournament later this year, dropping pre-test requirements for all residents and quarantine mandates for visitors.
Visitors from some countries are not required to download Ehteraz.
This comes as part of plans to increase the number of visitors to Qatar threefold, grow the travel and tourism sector’s contribution to GDP to 12% by 2030, and target 50 new hotels to open by the end of 2022, sources previously said.
And the numbers are going according to plan. The recent rules have led to an influx in visitors in the first quarter of 2022, with the country recording almost a seven-fold increase compared to previous years.
New data revealed that between January and March 2022, the number of visitors hit a total of 316,000, compared to 2020 and 2021 full-year figures of 581,000 and 611,000, respectively.