Citizens and residents urged to stay at home during Eid-Al-Fitr
Qatar has been working above and beyond to fight the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and limit its spread among the population.
During the press conference, held by Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on May 21, 2020, Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal, Chair of the National Strategic Group on COVID-19 and Head of the Infectious Diseases Division at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) said that the number of confirmed current cases in the State of Qatar with COVID-19 has reached 30,481, and 1,491 cases were recorded during the past 24 hours,
Key points by Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal:
- Throughout the month the number of new cases has gradually risen, and Qatar is entering the peak stage of COVID-19.
- It is encouraging that the number of patients making full recovery from the virus is also increasing each day and this week the total number of recovered cases passed 6,000.
- The number of daily recoveries is increasing in part due to new international guidelines on the timeframe for when patients are no longer contagious, meaning they can be safely discharged sooner. Most of the infected people are in the age group of 25 to 34 years and they constitute 35% of the total cases.
- While the majority of patients with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms, Qatar is also witnessing an increase in the number of patients with more severe symptoms.
- Throughout the past week, an average of 20 COVID-19 patients has been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) daily because of serious complications. Most of the people in the ICU are between 45 and 54 years old. 74 people need ventilators, which is 43% of those in the ICU.
- Eid is traditionally a time of the year when we socialize and celebrate with family and friends, but this year will be different. It is particularly important that citizens and residents stay at home and only go out when it is necessary by following social and physical distancing measures.- We thank all those working in the health sector, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, administrators, and all others.
- Throughout this month the number of new cases has gradually risen, and we are entering the peak stage of COVID-19 in Qatar.
- The virus is spreading rapidly among members of the same family, including examples where they do not share a household, due to families visiting each other and socializing during Ramadan.
Key points by Dr. Muna Al Maslamani (Communicable Disease Center Medical Director):
- Evidence from around the world shows that while anyone can become infected with COVID-19, people with chronic disease are more likely to develop severe symptoms if they get the virus.
- Data from ICU at HMC shows that 49% of patients admitted to ICU with COVID-19 have one or more chronic health conditions.
- This is because chronic diseases can impair the immune system's ability to fight off infection and leave the body more susceptible to severe symptoms.
- The symptoms and their severity differ from case to case for COVID-19 patients and indeed many patients are asymptomatic - meaning they display no symptoms at all.
- 94% of cases in Qatar are mild or asymptomatic, 5% require hospitalization, and 1% are admitted in ICU.
- We have been using plasma treatment for patients admitted to the Communicable Disease Center, with plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19.
- To date, more than 100 patients have received plasma from around 96 recovered donors and the team is seeing the number of donations from recovered patients rise each week.
- The most critically ill COVID-19 patients are currently being treated at the ICU at Hazm Mebeireek General Hospital and severely ill COVID-19 patients often require mechanical ventilation. A small percentage - the most severely ill - will require extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) therapy.
- It is clear that COVID-19 affects people with chronic disease in a much more serious way than other people - and so it is extremely important for people with chronic disease to stay at home as much as possible and follow preventive measures to protect themselves from catching the virus.
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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