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HH The Amir Directs the Start of Implementing a Package of Decisions and Measures To Combat the Spread of Coronavirus

16 Mar, 2020 12:00 AMAl Sharq Newspaper, The PeninsulaIntended Audience


HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani chaired a meeting of the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management yesterday to follow up on all developments and precautionary measures to combat the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19).

During the meeting, many decisions were taken, which are as follows:

Firstly: All incoming flights to Doha will be stopped starting from Wednesday, March 18, for a renewable period of 14 days, with the exception of air cargo and transit flights, in addition to receiving any Qatari citizens coming from any destination in the world with implementing a 14-day quarantine on them.

As regards Qatari students who are overseas, we advise them to adhere to the policies applied in the study country and Qatari embassies will provide any of the necessary services. These services include facilitating the procedures for return to the State of Qatar if the need arises. We also call upon citizens and residents in the State of Qatar to avoid traveling during the upcoming period.

Secondly: All modes of public transportation will be stopped, including metro and Karwa buses, from the night of Sunday, 15 March at 10:00 PM.

Thirdly: The following categories are allowed to work remotely: Employees over the age of 55, pregnant women, and people suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease, and blood pressure disease.

Fourthly: All students in public schools will begin distant learning from Sunday, 22 March 2020 and students from grades the first grade to the eleventh grade will be subject to ongoing evaluation system. As for the twelfth grade students, they will undergo high school exams on time and at the exams headquarters, which will be announced later. As for students in private schools and universities, they start studying remotely according to the academic calendar and the evaluation systems approved for them.

Fifthly: A package of decisions related to the economic and financial sector as follows:
First decision: HH the Amir directs supporting and providing financial and economic incentives amounting to QR 75 billion for the private sector. 
Second decision: Qatar Central Bank (QCB) is to establish appropriate mechanism to encourage banks to postpone loan installments and obligations of the private sector with a grace period of six months.
Third decision: Directing Qatar Development Bank (QDB) to postpone the installments of all borrowers for a period of six months.
Fourth decision: Directing government funds to increase their investments in the stock exchange with QR 10 billion.
Fifth decision: QCB is to provide additional liquidity to banks operating in the country.
Sixth Decision: Exempting food and medical goods from customs duties for a period of six months, provided that this is reflected in the selling price to the consumer.
Seventh Decision: Exempting the following sectors from electricity and water fees for a period of six months: Hospitality and tourism sector, retail sector, small and medium industries sector, commercial complexes in exchange for providing services and exemptions to tenants and logistics areas.
Eighth decision: Excepting the logistical areas and small and medium industries from rentals for a period of six months.

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