DUBAI (Reuters) - Qatar's cabinet on Wednesday ordered a halt to non-urgent medical services at private health facilities as of April 2 as coronavirus cases rise in the Gulf Arab state, state news agency QNA said.
Qatar on Wednesday reported 780 new COVID-19 infections compared with a daily rate below 200 in December.
The health ministry had on Tuesday widened the country's vaccination campaign to include people aged 40 and above.
"In the past few weeks, the number of COVID-19 cases has risen continuously, leading to significant numbers of people being admitted to hospital and intensive care every day with severe symptoms," the ministry said in a statement.
Qatar last week tightened restrictions to curb the spread of the virus, including closing leisure centres and further reducing operating capacity at shopping malls and cinemas.
Fellow Gulf state Oman, which last week imposed a partial curfew, has also seen coronavirus cases continue to climb. The sultanate recorded 1,162 cases on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Ghaida Ghantous; Editing by Hugh Lawson)