WATCH: Daily laboratory capacity for COVID-19 tests will reach 30,000 by July-end

WATCH: Daily laboratory capacity for COVID-19 tests will reach 30,000 by July-end

By QLNews

Since the start of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, health authorities in Qatar have gone above and beyond to detect and monitor suspected cases of the virus.

Local testing capacity has played a key role in the country's preparedness and response to the novel disease.

The quick mobilization of resources, equipment, and staff has allowed the country to effectively tackle the situation.

In terms of testing, laboratories at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) began working-round-the-clock and new equipment was introduced to accelerate the process of getting results.

As the country continues the battle against the virus, it is working diligently to enhance its testing capabilities, among other areas.

According to a senior health official at HMC, the daily laboratory capacity for COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)) tests will increase to 30,000 by July-end from the current 20,000.

Hamad Medical Laboratories (HML) conduct different kinds of tests to identify COVID-19. These include the PCR and serological tests. Each test has its uses according to medical protocols.

In a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA), Head of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at HMC Dr. Einas Al Kuwari said that Hamad Medical Laboratories are the main laboratories in Qatar where COVID-19 tests are performed to cover the needs of the state.

So far, at least 300,000 tests have been conducted at HML since the start of the pandemic.

The HMC official highlighted that the laboratories were previously working at an operating capacity of 16 percent  but since the COVID-19 outbreak they have been working 24/7 at the current operating capacity of 100 percent.

Dr Al Kuwari also mentioned that the laboratories have utilized advanced technical devices to ensure speedy results.

The number of daily checks to detect COVID-19 through the PCR method has gone up by 75 times, since the beginning of the COVID-19 situation, she said.

Dr Al Kuwari mentioned that the Medical Laboratory Department of HMC has unveiled two new laboratories, recently.

In addition to the main virus laboratory, these laboratories were opened to test COVID-19 at both the Communicable Diseases Center (CDC) and Hamad General Hospital, to meet the rising demand and ensure work continued without interruption.

Dr Al Kuwari said that there are also four laboratories dedicated to COVID-19 testing that conduct the PCR tests and are used for emergency and urgent cases. 

The laboratories are located in Hamad General Hospital, Al Khor Hospital, Al Wakra Hospital and the Cuban Hospital.

For any queries, or concerns related to COVID-19 in Qatar, the public can contact a 24/7 hotline set up by the Ministry. The hotline number is 16000 and is toll-free.

Here's everything you need to know about the virus, including ways to protect yourself. 

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