Notwithstanding the further relaxations of the Covid-19 restrictions from Sunday, Dr Yousuf al-Maslamani, medical director of Hamad General Hospital, has urged Qatar residents to continue wearing masks at big gatherings at festivals and souqs, even in the open air.
Speaking to Qatar TV Wednesday, he explained that the same logic should be applied to squares and arenas of mosques, schools and universities and hospitals due to the large number of people converging.
"Due to the commitment of the people, the large number of vaccinated individuals and the decreasing numbers of cases, we have reached a stage that enable us to move to Phase 4 of relaxations, and after two weeks the number of cases and hospital admission and the ICU due to Covid-19 will be studied.
"Accordingly, if the numbers remained low and continued to decrease we will proceed to better phases. Now with the new phase, wearing facemasks in the open air areas will be no longer mandatory except in closed areas such as shopping centres and workplaces."
Dr al-Maslamani pointed out that globally around 6bn doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered. "This is a considerably high number with no major issues reported so far, indicating the high safety of the vaccines.
"It is a blessing that we have the vaccines that provide more protection alongside the other precautionary measures, so we highly encourage people who have not taken the vaccine to take it as soon as possible," he added.