Friday, July 08, 2022

Qatar Coronavirus Updates -- Masks Restrictions Back in Place

As I expected the Government has put some restrictions back in place. Masks are now required at indoor public places. People were generally good at wearing masks in places like malls anyway but as it was not required there was the odd person not wearing one.

I guess after two years I have gotten used to seeing everyone wearing masks, and it was a bit surprising to enter the elevator at the office recently and see someone not wearing a mask. Well, everyone has to wear masks now.

The increase in restrictions is due to the rapid spread of the BA.4 and BA.5 variants of Omicron. Community cases in Qatar are now at 600-700 a day, over 80 people are in hospital (none in ICU however) and another person died last week. A lot of people are coming down with it. I plan to go on vacation soon so I think for the next bit I will 'hunker down' so that my trip isn't postponed because I got sick just before I was supposed to leave.

It is also the Eid holiday starting on Sunday and the first thing Muslims do for Eid is visit relatives, that means a lot of going from house to house to visit grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.  The Government is also sponsoring festivities for the holidays. Which means lots of crowds and lots of meeting people. I expect a spike in cases from about the 12th to the 20th, which is worrisome. Not to mention tens of thousands of people have crowded the airport the last couple of days getting flights out, and the flights are PACKED. I'm sure many of them will come down with Covid shortly.

I'm glad it's a holiday, and I'm glad the Government has recognized that restrictions are needed, but I'm expecting this will get way worse before it gets better.