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Qatar reports first coronavirus death among World Cup workers

1,102 Covid-19 cases have been recorded among workers at tournament projects, AFP reports
Qatar said it removed high-risk workers from projects on full pay and imposed distancing rules in work facilities (AFP/File photo)

Organisers of the Qatar 2022 World Cup have reported the first coronavirus death of a worker involved in the construction of tournament venues, local media said.

Doha News reported on Thursday that an engineer in his fifties, with no underlying medical conditions, died from Covid-19 earlier this month.

"Sadly, on June 11, 2020, a 51-year-old specialist engineer employed by the contractor Conspel, tragically died after contracting Covid-19," the Qatari organisation in charge of the 2022 tournament said in a statement.

Qatar has recorded one of the world's highest per capita Covid-19 infection rates with 3.3 percent of its 2.75 million population having tested positive for the disease.

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Still, the majority of those patients, more than 71,000 people, have since recovered.

A source close to the football tournament organisers told the AFP news agency that 1,102 cases of Covid-19 had been confirmed among workers at tournament projects, with 121 infections still active.

The gas-rich nation has recorded a total of 91,838 coronavirus cases, including 106 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers.

The timing of the competition, due to be held in November and December of 2022, remains unchanged by the pandemic which forced the postponement of this year's European football championships and the Tokyo Olympics. 

Earlier this month, Qatar announced that it would start easing lockdown measures in four stages.

According to the second stage - which will start on 1 July - restaurants, cafes, museums amd libraries will be allowed to reopen with limited capacity and during specific hours only.