Tag Archives: masks

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.


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).


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.


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.


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.


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.



See what’s happening in the North over face mask.

The First Lady, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, is collaborating with the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) to produce 180,000 face masks for distribution to six Northern states of Nigeria as part of efforts aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Speaking on Wednesday at the training of about 15 women who will produce the face masks in Bauchi, the Director-General, National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Nasiru Ladan Argungu, said the production and distribution of the face masks will be done in collaboration with the pet project of the First Lady, Future Assured.

Argungu, who was represented at the event by the Bauchi State Coordinator of the NDE, Ali Lawal Yaya, informed that the benefitting states are Bauchi, Sokoto, Kano, Jigawa, Kebbi and Zamfara.

According to the NDE boss, each of the six states are expected to produce 20,000 masks and distribute the same to their people.

He informed that the face masks are to be sown by women tailors in the benefiting states within one week “since they are at home doing nothing”.


“That is why we came up with this to engage them instead of us going to the market to buy the masks,” Argungu stated.

He further stated that the collaboration between the NDE and Future Assured to produce face masks is aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic and thus save the lives of Nigerians.



COVID-19 New Advisory: NCDC recommend use of face masks. [Nigeria]

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Tuesday recommended the use of face masks for members of the public without respiratory symptoms.

The health agency said face masks can act as an “additional layer” in the battle against COVID-19 in the country but added that it was not compulsory.

This information was contained in the NCDC’s ‘Advisory on the
Use of Masks by Members of the Public Without Respiratory Symptoms’ document which was released on Tuesday


Older people with pre-existing conditions are advised to wear face masks.

It is also strongly advised to use if a person is visiting a crowded place, such as a market.


COVID-19: Saudi authorities seize 5 million illegally stored medical masks.

Saudi authorities have seized more than five million medical masks that were illegally stockpiled amid the coronavirus outbreak, state media reported on Sunday.

The commerce ministry seized 1.17 million masks from a private store in Hail, northwest of the capital, after authorities Wednesday confiscated more than four million masks stored in a facility in the western city of Jeddah in violation of commercial regulations, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

The ministry said people behind activities such as the illegal storage of medical masks would be prosecuted, and that the confiscated masks would be redistributed to the open market.

Pharmacies in the oil-rich kingdom have reported shortages of masks amid panic buying, as authorities warned against prices hikes.

Saudi Arabia is scrambling to limit the spread of the deadly disease at home.

The kingdom’s health ministry has reported more than 1,200 COVID-19 infections and four deaths so far, the highest number of cases in the Gulf region.

It has imposed a nationwide partial curfew, barred entry and exit from Riyadh as well as Islam’s two holiest cities Mecca and Medina and prohibited movement between all provinces.

King Salman warned last week of a “more difficult” fight ahead against the virus, as the kingdom faces the economic double blow of virus-led shutdowns and crashing oil prices.