Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The overarching objective of this study was to provide the descriptive epidemiology of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemic in Qatar by addressing specific research questions through a series of national epidemiologic studies. Sources of data were the centralized and standardized national databases for SARS-CoV-2 infection. By July 10, 2020, 397,577 individuals had been tested for SARS-CoV-2 using polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR), of whom 110,986 were positive, a positivity cumulative rate of 27.9% (95% CI 27.8-28.1%). As of July 5, case severity rate, based on World Health Organization (WHO) severity classification, was 3.4% and case fatality rate was 1.4 per 1,000 persons. Age was by far the strongest predictor of severe, critical, or fatal infection. PCR positivity of nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal swabs in a national community survey (May 6-7) including 1,307 participants was 14.9% (95% CI 11.5-19.0%); 58.5% of those testing positive were asymptomatic. Across 448 ad-hoc testing campaigns in workplaces and residential areas including 26,715 individuals, pooled mean PCR positivity was 15.6% (95% CI 13.7-17.7%). SARS-CoV-2 antibody prevalence was 24.0% (95% CI 23.3-24.6%) in 32,970 residual clinical blood specimens. Antibody prevalence was only 47.3% (95% CI 46.2-48.5%) in those who had at least one PCR positive result, but 91.3% (95% CI 89.5-92.9%) among those who were PCR positive > 3 weeks before serology testing. Qatar has experienced a large SARS-CoV-2 epidemic that is rapidly declining, apparently due to growing immunity levels in the population.

Original publication




Journal article


Sci Rep

Publication Date





Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Asymptomatic Infections, COVID-19, COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing, Child, Child, Preschool, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Humans, Infant, Male, Middle Aged, Qatar, SARS-CoV-2, Young Adult