Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Qatar Coronavirus Updates -- Frustratingly Stable, oh and Canada is in the World Cup

Over the last two weeks I watched, waiting for the numbers to steadily drop below 100, maybe even below 50 cases a day, but it didn't happen. On average there are around 120-150 community cases a day and it has just stayed there. I'm not sure why it has levelled off there. The good news is the hospitalizations are minimal, now there are fewer than 30 people in hospital and only one in the ICU. No one has died of Covid in the last two weeks. 

With that the Government has relaxed most restrictions. Masks should still be worn indoors, and you need to show the Ehteraz tracking app to go into many places, but travelers now need to do a simple rapid test after landing, no need to do a PCR before coming to the country, and overall the country has moved on -- basically considering the pandemic over. Mask wearing is getting more haphazard and people don't take things as seriously anymore. Even in my office building they removed the restrictions on how many people can be in the elevator at once, or in a meeting room. Other countries are doing the same, apparently you don't need to get tested to enter Saudi anymore, and the same with Turkiye (i.e. Turkey, the Turkish Government has recently requested that the English-speaking world stop calling their country Turkey and instead say/spell it like they do, Turkiye).

Now on to great news -- Canada has officially qualified for the 2022 World Cup being held here in Qatar! It is only the second time Canada will play in the World Cup, the last time being in 1986. I hope to see their games. Now I need to try to get tickets...


Friday, March 11, 2022

Qatar Coronavirus Updates -- Omicron wave is over

Cases are now back to a level before the Omicron wave, today there were 116 community cases, and it has been under 200 a day for the last week. There is still the odd death, about four this week, but there's now only 26 people in hospital and 10 in the ICU, a far cry from two months ago when people were swarming testing centres and hospitals were filling up.

Qatar has announced further relaxing of restrictions, both for travel and while in the country. Masks are still required indoors, and the Ehteraz tracking app will need to be shown to enter buildings, but otherwise there are few restrictions anymore. Even travel restrictions are easy. Unless you came in from a 'red list' country (and there's only nine on the list) you don't need to do a pre-test to enter Qatar and on arrival do a rapid test within 24 hours. That's it. Well, if you're vaccinated that is, if you're unvaccinated then the process is trickier but you know what -- if you're an adult and don't have a valid medical reason for not being vaccinated then I have no sympathy about how restrictions inconvenience your life. If you have a Reddit account feel free to hang out on r/HermanCainAward to see how not being vaccinated can impact both yours and your family's life.

With no new variants on the horizon we might well be near a point where the pandemic is essentially over, at least for the time being. It'll be nice to travel without worrying too much about Covid. Looking forward to it in fact. I just got back from a trip to Turkey but I was still careful the whole time.