Kuwait, Qatar to jail those without masks

Kuwait and Qatar both say they will start jailing people or fining them thousands of dollars for failing to wear a face mask to combat the coronavirus.

Kuwait’s health ministry said on Sunday anyone caught could face up to three months in prison while Qatar state TV reported the maximum penalty there would be three years.

In Kuwait the maximum fine stood at 5000 dinars ($A25,255) and in Qatar 200,000 riyals ($A85,740).

The six Gulf states have reported a total of more than 137,400 infections with 693 deaths from the virus.

Cases in the region were initially linked to travel but subsequently spread among low-income migrant workers in cramped quarters.

Saudi Arabia, with a population of about 30 million people, has the largest count at more than 54,700 cases with 312 deaths.

Qatar, a country of 2.8 million, has the second highest infection count at more than 32,600, with 15 deaths.

The United Arab Emirates has the second highest number of COVID-19 deaths among the six states at 220. It has reported more than 23,350 cases.

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