Delay in testing for COVID-19 can cause complications, says HMC expert
Timely testing for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is highly important in ensuring early detection and appropriate treatment, a top official has highlighted.
In an interview with Gulf Times, Dr Ahmed Al Mohamed, chairman of the Department of Medicine, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), said, "Any delay in seeking medical advice and undergoing testing if necessary, could lead to difficulties in the treatment of the disease."
Dr Al Mohamed urged people to undergo testing immediately if they notice any symptoms.
He said just like any other disease, early detection can lead to early treatment and better health outcomes for those affected by COVID-19.
“If delayed, there could be difficulties in treating the disease and the outcome may not be very good,” he mentioned.
The emerging infection is new to healthcare professionals who are learning more about the disease every day.
"Depending on the new information, there might be changes in the treatment plan. So any delay in getting the proper medical advice can complicate the treatment and how to deal with the disease in terms of prevention and treatment," the official said.
Stressing the importance of early testing, Dr Al Mohamed said, "We conduct tests free of charge. We also conduct screening in the areas that seem to be affected."
The HMC official also highlighted that several people affected by the disease are asymptomatic or with very mild symptoms.
There are also some who have mild symptoms, which are similar to cold and may go away within a few days.
However, he said, "only through testing such cases can be confirmed."
"Very few people need hospital treatment. Even lesser number of people may need admission in the intensive care unit who might need ventilators,” he added.
Qatar has been working diligently to increase its testing facilities. Yesterday, the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) announced that it would be operating drive-through swabbing hubs at three health centers.
For individuals who display symptoms of COVID-19, the Ministry of Public Health urges them to quickly contact the 16000 helpline or go directly to one of the designated health centers for testing. This is important to ensure early detection and appropriate treatment and care.
The four main testing centers are:
- Muaither Health Centre
- Rawdat Al Khalil Health Centre
- Um Slal Health Centre
- Al Gharafa Health Centre
Earlier this week, in line with international standards, Qatar also introduced a new protocol for handling COVID-19 patients. Most patients with COVID-19 in the country will be discharged from healthcare facilities fourteen days after their first positive swab.
Here's everything you need to know about the virus, including ways to protect yourself.
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Source: Gulf Times