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Kuwait, Qatar Threaten Jail Terms for Non-use of Facemasks
A laborer in the Souq Waqif bazar in the Qatari capital Doha adheres to the facemask law on Sunday. (Karim Jaafar/AFP via Getty Images)

Kuwait, Qatar Threaten Jail Terms for Non-use of Facemasks

The Gulf nations of Qatar and Kuwait have both raised the possibility of jail sentences, or at the very least costly fines, for those who fail to wear facemasks in public spaces during the coronavirus pandemic. The maximum punishment in Kuwait, as announced on Sunday, is three months behind bars, while in Qatar it is three years. The fines are 5,000 dinars in Kuwait, or about $16,200, and is 200,000 riyals in Qatar, the equivalent of approximately $55,000. As of Sunday, health officials in Doha, Qatar’s capital, had reported just over 32,600 confirmed cases of coronavirus, reflecting about 1.1% of the population, the highest of all Gulf states. So far there have been 15 deaths. Kuwait is reporting 14,850 cases and 112 deaths, five of them since Saturday. Saudi Arabia leads all Gulf states in confirmed cases, with 54,752 as of Sunday, and 312 deaths, 10 in the previous 24 hours.

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