Second press conference for the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management

17 March 2020

In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

At the outset, I would like to thank the community of the State of Qatar, including Qataris and residents of Qatar, for their awareness and sense of responsibility and for taking the precautionary measures to protect themselves and the community from the spread of the virus. The community that was able with the utmost level of resilience to withstand the crisis of 2017, God willing, will also withstand this crisis through its unity and solidarity.

We reiterate that the 14-day quarantine, which applies to all Qatari citizens arriving in the State of Qatar from any destination in the world has been implemented to preserve the safety of everyone, including the safety of the travellers themselves. We remind everyone that this decision was directly preceded by the discovery of three Coronavirus-infected cases amongst Qataris who had returned from the United Kingdom, the Kingdom of Spain and the Swiss Federation, which required the immediate implementation of the decision in order to ensure the safety of everyone. We also confirm that all Qataris can return to Qatar at any time.

In addition, today, three new cases of Coronavirus were confirmed in amongst our brotherly migrant community, two of which were within the group that has already been quarantined, and a third case from the wider community. The third case is that of a personal chauffeur. These new cases are in stable condition and they are receiving the necessary medical care in the quarantine facility.

We would like to remind you here of the importance of remaining at home, except for necessities. And of the importance of maintaining an appropriate distance when in contact with the elderly and people who have chronic diseases, in order to preserve their health and safety. We also encourage everyone to avoid social gatherings over the next two weeks, which will be critical. We commend the role of individuals and families in raising awareness and cancelling gatherings to uphold the public interest.

The following additional precautionary measures have been enforced:

First, effective from today, March 17, we announce the partial closure of the Industrial Area, from Street No. 1 to Street No. 32, for a period of two weeks, subject to extension. This measure has been put in place as a number of cases have been discovered in the area, which are being quarantined, and in order to further protect the local residents through continuous medical examination, as well as to protect other areas against the further spread of the virus. We confirm that this will not affect the daily needs of the residents in this area, as there is coordination with the relevant companies to continue to fulfil the needs of their workers and pay their salaries on the usual dates. In addition, the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs and Qatar Charity are collaborating to provide more support including the distribution of masks and hand sanitizers. It should be noted that the relevant authorities such as the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Public Health are working to ensure business continuity in a way that does not affect vital projects.

Second, the closure of retail shops and bank branches in malls and shopping centres. Grocery stores and pharmacies shall be excluded from this measure.

Third, the closure of men’s and women’s salons until further notice and stopping the home services provided by some of these establishments.

Fourth, the suspension of health club activities in hotels until further notice, according to the instructions of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Citizens and residents of Qatar, since the beginning of this crisis, the State of Qatar has been transparent with the local and international community with regards to Coronavirus cases in Qatar, detailing exact numbers and health conditions, and communicating all the measures being taken to limit the spread of the pandemic.

The State of Qatar confirms that it will do its utmost to limit the spread of the virus and take all the necessary precautions and measures during this time. However, this effort requires the solidarity and unity of all individuals, institutions and sectors, and that the pandemic is not to be underestimated. The announced decisions and precautionary measures are subject to further change depending on ongoing developments, and in order to ensure the safety of the community. My safety is your safety, and your safety is my safety.

We ask God to protect our country and its people from all illnesses.

Thank you.