Five hospitals, four health centers serve as COVID-19 treatment, testing facilities: Official
With a focus on protecting the health of its citizens and residents, Qatar has been dealing with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) challenge with all its might.
Since the early stage of the crisis, Qatar's health system has ensured the availability of testing, isolation and treatment facilities for COVID-19 cases.
In an interview with Qatar News Agency (QNA) yesterday, the Director of the Public Health Department at the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) Dr Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad Al Thani pointed out that the country has designated five hospitals, four health centers and an isolation facility for this purpose.
Until now, five hospitals have been dedicated to providing integrated medical care to COVID-19 patients. These include: the Communicable Disease Center, Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital, The Cuban Hospital, Mesaieed Hospital and Ras Laffan Hospital.
The four health centers for testing, examining and observing suspected COVID-19 cases are: the Muaither Health Center, Rawdat Al Khail Health Center, and the Umm Salal and the Gharafat Al Rayyan Health Centers.
Dr Sheikh Mohamed also drew attention to the medical isolation facility in Umm Salal, with a 12-500 bed capacity. The Medical Quarantine Complex, set up by Ashghal, serves as a field hospital and is complemented by a recreational facility offering diverse activities.
During the interview, the Director of Public Health also highlighted some of the other steps in Qatar's fight against COVID-19:
Private healthcare practitioners allowed to work in government treatment institutions
According to the official, licensed practitioners in the private sector have been recently allowed to serve in treatment institutions in the government sector. This step was taken to bolster the medical and paramedical workforce at the forefront of the COVID-19 battle and to offer quicker medical and nursing services.
30 hotels allocated for quarantine purposes
Since the start of the crisis, some 30 hotels, equipped with the highest safety standards, were used for quarantine purposes, Dr Sheikh Mohamed mentioned.
"Rooms were allocated for individual cases as well as families, in addition to clinics within hotels for medical and paramedical personnel for case management, evaluation, monitoring and follow-up," QNA reports.
The official added that medical professionals perform a daily evaluation of the quarantined individuals' health status. This includes measuring the body temperature and making sure no pathological symptoms appear after tests are carried out once in two days.
Those who are quarantined in hotels can avail a variety of services including the Internet, room service that includes daily cleaning, as well as laundry and delivery services.
The official mentioned that those in quarantine are not permitted to leave the room, if there is no necessity, in compliance with the social distancing guidelines.
However, once it is confirmed they are virus-free, after a clinical examination and the result of laboratory analysis coupled with the report of the treatment team, the quarantined individuals are officially permitted to leave.
Qatar Foundation developing app for diagnosis and monitoring of COVID-19
Dr Sheikh Mohamed also told QNA about Qatar Foundation's (QF) contributions in the battle against COVID-19.
QF is focusing efforts on developing a test that will aid in determining the presence of COVID-19. This is in addition to working on potential treatment mechanisms.
Moreover, QF together with Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) is working on developing an application to diagnose and monitor COVID-19, the Director of Public Health revealed.
Furthermore, QF's research, development and innovation centers have provided HMC with some of the equipment available to help expedite laboratory testing processes.
The total number of lab testing for COVID-19 in Qatar has now exceeded 85,000, he said.
Scientific studies/ Research
Dr Sheikh Mohamed also shed light on the scientific studies led by QF jointly with HMC and some external parties on the use of Artificial Intelligence, genomics and other advanced technologies to tackle the virus.
Qatar University in coordination with some international research centers is also conducting six studies on COVID-19, he highlighted.
Meanwhile, health authorities in Qatar continue to implement the highest level of monitoring, detection, and management procedures to deal with the virus, the public has been advised to follow certain measures to safeguard their health.
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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