First batch of Iran returnees discharged from quarantine
March 12 2020 10:47 PM
A photo released by the Ministry of Public Health shows the first batch of Iran returnees leaving a
A photo released by the Ministry of Public Health shows the first batch of Iran returnees leaving a quarantine facility

Doha

* No Metro, public bus this weekend
* Play areas in parks closed
* Activities at Aspire Zone postponed
* Ashghal, Kahramaa urge customers to use e-services

The first batch of people repatriated from Iran following the outbreak coronavirus two weeks ago and put under quarantine in Qatar have been discharged, the Ministry of Public Health announced on Thursday.

The group consists of 121 individuals suspected to have been infected with the virus in Iran.

Qatar News Agency quoted head of Public Health at the Ministry of Public Health, Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad al-Thani, as saying at a press conference that the individuals, who received care throughout the quarantine period, were released after three consecutive tests showed they were free of Covid-19.

However, nine other returnees from Iran who tested positive for the virus are currently receiving suitable care and are in stable health and they are expected to be discharged soon, the Ministry said in a statement.

Meanwhile, as part of measures to to combat the virus outbreak, various organisations and institutions in the country have announced changes to their operations .

These include restrictions for the public, postponements, temporary closures and suspensions as well as conducting work remotely and online.

Following are some of the key announcements:

* No Metro, public bus this weekend

Doha Metro, public buses and the Metrolink feeder bus service have been suspended for the weekend, according to an official notification.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) Thursday said in a statement that in view of the precautionary measures taken in the country to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the "Doha Metro preview service, public transit bus service and Metrolink service" have been temporarily suspended. The suspension came into effect at 10pm on Thursday.

The services will resume at 6am on Sunday, March 15.

Qatar Rail, too, reported the suspension of Metro services during the same period. A tweet on the Doha Metro & Lusail Tram page specified that related services such as the Metrolink and Metroexpress feeder buses would also remain suspended during this period.

* Play areas in parks closed

The Ministry of Municipality and Environment on Thursday tweeted that it has decided to close play areas in all parks around the country "as a precautionary measure to ensure the health of our kids."

* QF curtails some activities, closes many public places and facilities

Qatar Foundation on Thursday said it has curtailed certain activities and closed many of its public places and facilities at Education City until further notice, to "help slow infection and the transmission of Covid-19 in Qatar and contribute to safeguarding public health, which is of paramount importance to us". The places closed to the public include Qatar National Library, Oxygen Park and Al Shaqab, among others, while services on the Education City Tram are suspended until further notice.

* Activities at Aspire Zone postponed

Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF), through a statement on social media on Thursday, announced that all activities have been postponed until further notice.

Also, Aspire Active programmes at the Ladies Club and all facilities in the Aspire Dome have been suspended.

* QM cancels number of initiatives and activities

Qatar Museums (QM) has cancelled a number of initiatives and activities in Doha. “The measures taken in accordance with directions from the Ministry of Public Health include the cancellation of the following initiatives until further notice: Museum of Islamic Art and National Museum of Qatar bazaars, school visits, workshops, lectures, tours and educational programming, and public events,” QM has said in an e-mail to Culture Pass members.

* Msheireb Tram out of service

The Msheireb Tram will be out of service until further notice "for your protection and to reduce any chance of transmission of the coronavirus", Msheireb Properties said on Thursday. "Please stay safe and see you soon," it tweeted.

* Use e-services, Ashghal tells clients

With the authorities calling for a high alert, the Public Works Authority (Ashghal), through a tweet, has urged its clients to avoid direct visits to its customer service offices and instead make of the e-services. Clients can also contact Ashghal call centre at 188.

* Apply online to avail of services: Kahramaa

The Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa) has urged clients to apply online to avail of its services instead of visiting its service centres or its offices in Government Services Complexes. Clients can apply online via the Kahramaa website (http://km.qa) and the Kahramaaa mobile application, according to a tweet by the corporation.

* Virtual learning at QU

Qatar University (QU) has said it is making arrangements to continue regular classes through a virtual learning system from March 15, as classes in all educational institutions across Qatar have been suspended by the government to limit the spread of Covid-19.

The QU administration has delivered many workshops by the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning on the techniques for distance education and directed all professors to start using them from March 15, according to a statement.


Sports events postponed

The 13th FIG Artistic Gymnastics Individual Apparatus World Cup, which was scheduled to be held in Doha from March 18 to 21, has been postponed to June 3 to 6, according to the Qatar Gymnastics Federation (QGF).

The QGF announced the postponement of the championship, which was to have the participation of more than 250 athletes from 59 countries on Thursday.

“The decision is in line with the recommendations of the Ministry of Public Health to avoid gatherings in public places and to implement the decisions issued by the national committee concerned with the coronavirus,” a statement from QGF said.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has said the 2020 Workers' Cup has been postponed until further notice.

"The health, safety and well-being of players and officials involved in the 2020 Workers' Cup is our top priority," the SC said in a statement on Thursday. "With this in mind, due to the ongoing situation in relation to Covid-19, the 2020 Workers' Cup has been postponed until further notice."

Information about the resumption of this year's tournament will be shared in due course, the SC added.


QC to distribute masks, sanitisers

The Qatar Charity (QC), in collaboration with the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Public Health, will distribute preventative safety guidelines, face masks and sanitisers among workers to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The initiative also aims to raise awareness of the need to take precautionary measures with regard to reducing gatherings, QC tweeted on Thursday.


Last updated: March 12 2020 11:17 PM


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