Health

Kuwait, Qatar COVID-19 daily cases soar past previous highs

Kuwait on
Sunday reported 2,999 new cases of COVID-19, its fourth day of case numbers
exceeding a high of 1,993 seen in July last year.

Kuwait had
seen below 50 daily cases during the last quarter of 2021.

Qatar, a
small energy-rich state with a population of around 2.8 million, on Saturday
reported 3,487 new cases – almost 10 percent of those tested — outpacing a
previous high of 2,355 seen in May 2020.

On Saturday,
Qatar reintroduced a set of rules limiting home gatherings to 10 vaccinated
people, barring unvaccinated people from entering malls and restaurants and
reducing capacity limits for some commercial establishments. Schools in Qatar
have reintroduced distance learning until at least January 27.

To relieve
pressure on Qatar’s testing infrastructure authorities on Wednesday urged
travellers and some symptomatic people to take rapid antigen tests, which don’t
need to be processed in a laboratory, rather than PCR tests.

It also
opened a new 10-lane drive-through PCR testing station to sample up to 5,000
people a day.

Saudi
Arabia, the largest Gulf state with a population of some 30 million, has also
seen a rapid increase in cases since the start of the year. The kingdom
registered 3,460 new infections on Sunday, still below a peak of more than
4,700 in June 2020.

In the
United Arab Emirates, the Gulf’s tourism and commercial hub, the past three
weeks also brought a surge in cases as the country hosts a world fair during
its peak tourist season.

Authorities
on Sunday reported 2,759 new infections, as it hosts a world fair during its
peak tourist season.

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