Coronavirus: latest news, advice and travel information

Stay up to date with the latest coronavirus guidance and developments in Qatar

Coronavirus: latest news, advice and travel information

To check the current coronavirus measures and travel guidelines for your country, click here.

At this point, it goes without saying that coronavirus has shaken up all of our day-to-day lives.

So far the virus has spread across six continents, and governments around the world are responding by encouraging or mandating precautionary measures to help stem the coronavirus spread.

With events constantly changing, we’ve put together this handy FAQ to bring you some help, tips and perspective. You don’t need to panic, and for the moment, life should continue as normal (even if it does mean slightly more Netflix than usual). But it won’t hurt to stay clued up on the official advice, as detailed below.

Think you’re coming down with something? Worried you’ll have to cancel your holiday plans? Stay up to date with our guide to the latest coronavirus guidance and developments.

What is coronavirus?

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that started in animals and is now being transmitted between humans. The symptoms include coughs, fever, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. First identified in Wuhan, China, the virus has (as of March 16) affected more than 169,000 people in 158 countries. Some 6,500 have died, while around half have already recovered. On March 11 the World Health Organisation labelled the outbreak a ’pandemic’.

How bad is coronavirus?

Unlike flu, there is no vaccine (yet), and recovery depends on the strength of the immune system. In severe cases the virus may cause pneumonia and/or organ failure.

Compared to Sars (another coronavirus that hit headlines in 2003), the mortality rate of COVID-19 is low: around 3.4 percent according to the latest WHO estimate. This is, however, significantly higher than regular seasonal flu, which is fatal in around 0.1 percent of cases. So far, COVID-19 also appears to be more contagious than seasonal flu.

The elderly and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease are most likely to develop a severe illness relating to COVID-19. The death rate is ten times higher among the very elderly compared with the middle-aged, according to the WHO. Children are less likely to be affected.

Which countries have been worst hit by coronavirus?

Although just under half of cases have been in China, there have also been serious outbreaks in Italy, South Korea, Iran and Spain. Italy has recorded more than 24,000 cases, Iran nearly 14,000, South Korea around 8,000 and Spain nearly 8,000. France and Germany now have more than 5,500 confirmed cases each.

As of March 16, there have been 439 cases recorded in Qatar. You can keep track of the spread of the disease on this map created by Johns Hopkins University. The WHO advises against travelling to areas experiencing ongoing transmission of COVID-19.

To check the current coronavirus measures and travel guidelines for your country, click here.

How will coronavirus affect my day-to-day life?

First: don’t panic. The spread of the virus outside China wasn’t unexpected, and governments have been making plans and issuing advice.

If you’re in Qatar

As of March 17, the local authorities have decreed that the following organisations and services suspend operation until the end of March:
Cinemas and theatres
Mosques
All schools and education institutes
Children’s play areas and parks including Al Khor Family Park, Dahl Al Hammam
All gyms, spas, swimming pools and wedding venues including those in hotels
Dine-in for all restaurants and cafés
Bars, pubs and nightclubs
Qatar National Library
All museums including Msheireb Museums, National Museum of Qatar, Museum of Islamic Art and events in the museums such as Baraha Souq, MIA Park Bazaar, workshops etc.
All public transportation including Karwa, Doha Metro and the tramway
Qatar Foundation schools, partner universities and HBKU
Hamad International Airport for all incoming flights for a two week period.

What are the official guidelines for my country?

– Australia
Travel advice
Coronavirus information

– Canada
Travel advice
Coronavirus information

– China
National Health Commission
Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention

– France
Travel advice
Coronavirus information

– Germany
Travel advice
Coronavirus information

– Italy
Travel advice
Coronavirus information

– Japan
Travel advice
Coronavirus information

– New Zealand
Travel advice
Coronavirus information

– Singapore
Travel advice
Coronavirus information

– South Korea
Korea Tourism Organization
Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

– Thailand
Travel advice
Coronavirus information

– United Kingdom
Travel advice
Coronavirus information

– United States
Travel advice
Coronavirus information

Be the first to get all the latest Doha news, reviews and deals into your inbox by signing up to our free newsletter, click here to sign up.

More from News, Time In 2020

The prices are the lowest they’ve been in four years

Virtual consultations, remote sick leave and home delivery for medicines

Updates on how the country is combating the spread of the virus

Eligible tenants don't have to pay from April to June

You can skip card and cash transactions at the petrol stations now

Newsletters

Follow us