* Qatar’s Labour reforms tangible

* ‘Essential services’ exempted from 50% attendance rule

* Active cases of COVID-19 up by 405 to 19,647

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It’s Sunday 11th April

In today’s newspapers

Qatar’s Labour reforms tangible

The Guardian’s reports on workers deaths is misleading

The calls to boycott the 2022 World Cup in Qatar were based on misleading media reports, Sheikh Thamer bin Hamad Al Thani, the Deputy Director for media affairs of the Government Communications Office has said.

In an interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro, Sheikh Thamer said those calling for a boycott ignored the progress Qatar has made in reforming its Labour law and promoting migrant workers’ rights.

He said that it was good to see that in recent weeks, many football associations, NGOs and fan groups have realised that a boycott is not a constructive outcome, explaining that Qatar fully supports footballers and football associations who use their platform to promote human rights.

“Their criticism of the 2022 World Cup, however is misplaced. Qatar has made tangible progress on Labour reforms and has shown its commitment to continue the process in cooperation with its international partners”, Sheikh Thamer added.

During the interview, Sheikh Thamer outlined how reporting from The Guardian claiming 6,500 workers have died working on stadium infrastructure is both misleading and, in his words, “a far cry from reality”. This figure includes all deaths over the past 10 years of residence in Qatar from India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Nepal. however, contrary to what the Guardian claims not all of these people were working on construction sites.

“expatriates from these countries also includes students, the elderly, and workers employed in offices, retail shops, schools, and hospitals. Qatar has over 1.4 million expatriates from these countries. Only 20% of them are employed as workers in the construction sector, which accounts for less than 10% of all deaths between 2014 and 2019”.

‘Essential services’ exempted from 50% attendance rule

The Ministry of Commerce and industry has issued a list of establishments and entities exempted from the decision taken in Wednesday’s cabinet meeting with regard to reducing the number of employees in the workplace across the private sector to 50%.

According to an infographic issued by the ministry on its Twitter page yesterday, pharmacy’s and clinics, factories, maintenance companies, food and subsidised supply retail outlets, e-commerce companies, catering companies, telecom companies, companies operating in state run projects, bakeries, financial institutions licenced by Qatar central bank, restaurants for both deliveries and takeaways, petrol stations, logistics services companies and firms operating at sea ports, airports and Customs services.

Qatar’s weather today

Doha will see temperatures between 23 and 34 degrees. Elsewhere in the country it will be between 16 and 39 degrees.

Now today’s COVID update.

In the last 24-hour period, there have been 964 new cases of COVID-19 and 552 recoveries. Unfortunately, there were also 7 Covid related deaths. Which means there’s been an increase of 405 cases giving us a new current total of 19,647 active cases.

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Qatar News in 60 Seconds Launched on Wednesday April 8th 2020 originally titled ‘News Brief by Qatar Quick’ https://youtu.be/fXxufvGfzYg

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