*Decrease in the number of cases reported daily
*Fall in the number of hospital admissions
*Follow preventive measures to curb virus spread

Recording over 86,000 cases of recovery from nearly 100,000 Covid-19 infections is an exceptional achievement for Qatar in addition to maintaining one of the lowest death rates in the world with a total of 118 deaths so far, a top official said on Thursday.

“For the last few weeks, we have been seeing a decrease in the number of cases reported daily as well as the number of patients admitted to the hospital,” explained Sheikh Dr Mohamed bin Hamad al-Thani, Director, Department of Public Health, Ministry of Public Health (MoPH).

Addressing a press conference telecast on Qatar TV, he explained that Qatar started to lift the restrictions gradually and with great caution in order to control the spread of the virus while keeping precautionary measures in place.

“We depend on everyone's commitment to precautionary measures to control the epidemic and return to normal life,” he said.

Sheikh Dr Mohamed also pointed out that the past few weeks have witnessed an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases among citizens and residents (other than expatriate workers), despite the decrease in the total daily infections in Qatar, adding that the source of the infection is often due to family gatherings and visits, and the lack of commitment to measures, especially physical distancing.

The MoPH has advised other groups at greatest risk of complications from the disease, such as the elderly, pregnant women and people suffering from chronic diseases, to stay at home and not go out unless absolutely necessary and avoid all forms of social gatherings, including receiving visitors.

The senior official asserted that lifting restrictions is based on a set of indicators, and the next stages will be based on their outcome. If one of the indicators is found to be affected, some restrictions can be re-imposed or the start of the following stages could be delayed.

“The most important guidelines on preventive measures are that persons aged above 60 and pregnant women are advised to stay home. Everyone should maintain adequate social distancing and wear masks and gloves and avoid touching their eyes and nose.

“We extend a special thanks to all workers on the front lines in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and appreciate them. We also praise the directives of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al- Thani to fight the pandemic.

“All ministries, health and academic institutions in the country participated in the collective efforts to fight the pandemic.

“Our success in the second stage of the gradual opening is the guarantee of safe passage to the third and fourth phases,” Sheikh Dr Mohamed added.

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