Qatar admits virus hit 12 in prison

Qatar, where expatriates make up the majority of the population, has like other Gulf states seen the virus spread among low-wage foreign workers living in cramped quarters. (AFP)
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Updated 20 May 2020

Qatar admits virus hit 12 in prison

Qatar admitted on Tuesday that there were 12 cases of COVID-19 at a jail following a warning by Human Rights Watch (HRW) that prisoners could be at risk of contracting the disease.

HRW had said that six non-Qatari detainees “described a deterioration in prison conditions” at Doha’s Central Prison.

“They said that the prison authorities also further restricted prisoners’ limited access to basic medical care,” it added describing the situation as “an apparent outbreak.”

Michael Page, HRW’s deputy Middle East director, called for the release of “vulnerable prisoners such as older people and those held for low level or nonviolent offenses.”

Qatar, where expatriates make up the majority of the population, has like other Gulf states seen the virus spread among low-wage foreign workers living in cramped quarters.

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The prison authorities restricted prisoners’ limited access to basic medical care, HRW had quoted detainees as saying, describing the situation as ‘an apparent outbreak.’

Almost 34,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the tiny Gulf country — 1.2 percent of the 2.75 million population — although just 15 people have died.

Masks have been mandatory in public places in Qatar since Sunday in an effort to stem the spread of the virus.

Violators of the new rules will face up to three years in jail and fines of as much as $55,000, the world’s toughest penalties for failing to wear a face covering.

Anyone leaving their home will also be required to install a contact tracing app on their phones from Friday.


UAE confirms 659 new coronavirus cases

Updated 05 June 2020

UAE confirms 659 new coronavirus cases

  • There were three fatalities overnight
  • A total of 419 people were cleared of COVID-19 infections

DUBAI: The UAE has recorded 659 new coronavirus cases overnight after conducting additional 54,000 tests, raising the country’s caseload to 37,018, health ministry officials said.
There were also three fatalities overnight, putting the UAE death toll to 273, state news agency WAM reported.
Another 419 people meanwhile were cleared of COVID-19 infections, bringing patient recoveries to 19,572.
The health ministry reiterated its advisory for people to follow social distancing and other preventive measures to avoid coronavirus transmission.