Qatar is well prepared to tackle coronavirus, top official assures public
While the news regarding the spread of the coronavirus from China to other countries may be alarming, health authorities in Qatar have confirmed they are doing everything they can to ward-off the Chinese virus.
All required preventive measures are being followed and there is no need to panic, a top official at the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has said.
In addition to keeping a close eye on international developments regarding the emerging infection, Qatar is also frequently communicating with the World Health Organization (WHO), which has affirmed that the virus is not a global health emergency as of now, Sheikh Dr Mohamed bin Hamad Al Thani, director, Public Health Department at MoPH assured the public.
Qatar’s National Pandemic Preparedness Committee held a meeting last week to map out a mechanism to deal with the situation and currently all necessary protocols are in place.
The MoPH official confirmed that not a single case of the virus has been reported in Qatar so far.
"We would like to assure the people that all protocols are in place to face any situation," he said, adding that the country is positive about the situation and ready to tackle it as best as possible.
"Although such cases are being reported from China and a few other countries, the fatality rate is only 3 percent which is very low compared to 33 percent of Mers-CoV or Sars which was at 10 percent,” Dr Al Thani mentioned.
Every day hundreds of passengers from China are thermally screened at Hamad International Airport (HIA), the official said.
The country is also raising awareness about the infection, its symptoms, and the need to report in case of individuals experience any similar symptoms, amongst travelers on flights coming to Doha.
Dr Al Thani further mentioned that 90 percent of the travelers, coming from China to Doha, are on transit at HIA.
"We want to ensure that they travel safely to their final destination. We have made arrangements that if any suspicious cases are detected, they will immediately be taken to the Communicable Disease Center (CDC). We ensure that any case will be treated in a special ward if such a situation comes up," he said.
The official reiterated that Qatar's health authorities have dealt with other dangerous infections in the past, particularly the Mers-COV situation which was comparatively more critical.
"We are well trained and we keep updating our information," he said.
Earlier MoPH urged travelers coming from China to keep a close eye on the appearance of any alarming symptoms (related to coronavirus) for at least 14 days as this is the time during which the condition can begin to show.
Moreover, Qatari authorities including the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised citizens and residents of Qatar to avoid unnecessary travel to the Chinese cities affected by the coronavirus.
They further advised to "avoid close contact with animals in the infected areas or the persons who show any of the related symptoms and wash hands at regular intervals with soap and water."
In case of any related reports, the public can contact the relevant team at the 24/7 hotlines: 66740951 or 66740948.
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