Health authorities announce a new 32-point plan to curb the coronavirus spread amid a surge in cases.

Qatar has announced new restrictions amid a surge in coronavirus cases that authorities said could lead to a second wave of infections.

The 32-point plan, made public on Wednesday, includes provisions to limit at 80 percent the number of staff present at their workplace.

Among other things, it also reimposes a ban on indoor weddings, with some exceptions.

The announcement came as Qatar announced an 85 percent increase in the number of hospitalisation cases in January compared with the previous month.

“We have seen an 85 percent increase in January compared to December in the number of COVID-19 patients being admitted to hospital,” Dr Abdullatif al-Khal, chair of the National Health Strategic Group on COVID-19 and head of Infectious Diseases at Hamad Medical Corporation, said.

“In December, Qatar has seen a gradual and consistent increase in the number of new daily infections. Additionally, and of great concern, is the recent increase in both the number of COVID-19 patients admitted to hospital and the number of patients admitted to ICU.

“The data over the next few days and week will tell us more, but these increases appear to be the early signs of a potential second wave in Qatar.”

On Wednesday, health authorities announced 396 cases, bringing the total number of infections since the outbreak to 152,491, including 249 deaths.