LTE to The New York Times by the Government Communications Office Deputy Director for Media Affairs

16 April 2020

Virus Worsens Suffering of Gulf’s Migrant Labor” (news article, April 14) doesn’t convey the unequivocal differences in Qatar’s response to coronavirus compared with that of some of its neighbors.

Qatar’s priority is the health and safety of all citizens and residents. We have focused on four critical areas: free testing and medical treatment for all; financial support to businesses through an $824 million fund so that salaries continue to be paid on time; safe living and working conditions for all; and public awareness campaigns on prevention and control measures.

Protecting workers, especially those living in the quarantine area, is central to the response. In sectors that continue to operate, employers are required to introduce safe distancing, limit the number of workers at sites and on buses, and conduct regular health briefings.

In a recent week, nearly 1,500 unannounced work-site inspections took place to ensure that measures were being observed. Companies found in violation were charged.

Qatar will continue to take the necessary steps to protect public health and defeat the coronavirus.

Thamer Hamad Al Thani

Deputy Director

Government Communications Office

Doha, Qatar