Tag Archives: mask

COVID-19: Qatar imposes worst penalty over failure to use mask.


Qatar on Sunday began enforcing the world’s toughest penalties of up to three years’ imprisonment for failing to wear masks in public, as it battles one of the world’s highest coronavirus infection rates.

More than 30,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the tiny Gulf country — 1.1 percent of the 2.75 million population — although just 15 people have died.

Only the micro-states of San Marino and the Vatican had higher per capita infection rates, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Violators of Qatar’s new rules will face up to three years in jail and fines of as much as $55,000.

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Drivers alone in their vehicles are exempt from the requirement, but several expats told AFP that police were stopping cars at checkpoints to warn them of the new rules before they came into force.

Wearing a mask is currently mandatory in around 50 countries, although scientists are divided on their effectiveness.

Authorities in Chad have made it an offence to be unmasked in public, on pain of 15 days in prison. In Morocco similar rules can see violators jailed for three months and fined up to 1,300 dirhams ($130).

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Qatari authorities have warned that gatherings during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan may have increased infections.

Abdullatif al-Khal, co-chair of Qatar’s National Pandemic Preparedness Committee, said Thursday that there was “a huge risk in gatherings of families” for Ramadan meals.

“(They) led to a significant increase in the number of infections among Qataris,” he said.

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Neighbouring Saudi Arabia will enforce a round-the-clock nationwide curfew during the five-day Eid al-Fitr holiday later this month to fight the coronavirus.


– Labourers at risk –


Mosques, along with schools, malls, and restaurants remain closed in Qatar to prevent the disease’s spread.

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But construction sites remain open as Qatar prepares to host the 2022 World Cup, although foremen and government inspectors are attempting to enforce social distancing rules.

Officials have said workers at three stadiums have tested positive for the highly contagious respiratory virus. Masks have been compulsory for construction workers since April 26.

Tens of thousands of migrant labourers were quarantined in Doha’s gritty Industrial Area after a number of infections were confirmed there in mid-March, but authorities have begun to ease restrictions.

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Khal said that most new cases were among migrant workers, although there has been a jump in infections among Qataris. He said the country had not yet reached the peak of its contagion.

Rights groups have warned that Gulf labourers’ cramped living conditions, communal food preparation areas and shared bathrooms could undermine social distancing efforts and speed up the spread of the virus.


#Newsworthy…

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[Nigeria] Security Guard kills Man in onitsha for not wearing Face Mask.

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A private security guard attached to Coca-Cola market, Onitsha, Anambra State, has allegedly killed a 22-year old man for not wearing a face mask.

The deceased, Cletus Chisom, was stabbed in the chest after he had an altercation with the security guard, Ibuchi Nwoju, over his refusal to wear a face mask.

Confirming the incident, the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Haruna Mohammed, said that the security guard had been arrested.

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He also revealed that the body of the deceased has been deposited at Toronto Hospital Mortuary for autopsy.

This occurred after the Federal Government eased the lockdown which lasted for five weeks due to coronavirus pandemic in the country.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: World shifting interest from masks as case worsens globally.


The United States is now urging people to wear face masks when they go outside amid growing evidence suggests that even a simple cloth mask can be an effective tool against the coronavirus if it is used correctly, according to health experts.

The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reversed its long-standing position on face masks last week – telling Americans they should now wear one when they go outside.

Much of the confusion has come from a continuing global debate as to how the virus is spread through the air, as well as which masks are most effective – between the N95 respirator and surgical masks favoured by medical personnel or the more ordinary dust masks and cloth face coverings.

The World Health Organization (WHO) continues to recommend that masks are only needed by people displaying COVID-19 symptoms such as coughing and sneezing, those starting to feel sick and “pre-symptomatic”, or caring for the sick, emphasising that masks must be disposed of properly.

One reason is that mask use can easily backfire if mishandled, according to Dr Dale Fisher, an infectious disease physician and chair of the WHO Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network.


False sense of security


He said many mask-wearers may feel a “false sense of security” and can easily end up transferring any virus droplets on the surface of their mask onto their hands or the surfaces in their home when they take off the mask.


Japan mask


“If you wear a mask in the community, the next thing you realise it’s on the table beside you or it will be under your chin when you answer the phone. Distancing and washing these are the ways to stop [the virus] not (to) wear a mask all the time,” he said.

However, Jason Wang, a physician and director of Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention at Stanford University, said growing evidence about the nature of SARS-CoV-2, the highly-infectious virus associated with COVID-19, suggests masks may be necessary at all times when in social settings.

Some countries have already made it mandatory to wear masks in public – no one in the Chinese city of Wuhan where the outbreak began late last year was allowed onto the street without one amid a strictly-enforced quarantine – while other governments, such as Singapore, distribute a set of masks to each household.

In some cultures, like Japan, South Korea and Taiwan masks have long been on a common sight particularly during the northern winter flu season.


#Newsworthy…