Minister of Public Health presents Qatar's strategy to curb spread of COVID-19 to WHO

Minister of Public Health presents Qatar's strategy to curb spread of COVID-19 to WHO

By QLNews

Qatar has been working above and beyond to fight the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and limit its spread among the population.

The country’s tireless efforts have garnered international recognition, including praise from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesusas as well as some United Nations representatives.

Qatar has one of the lowest COVID-19 mortality rates in the world, according to the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH).

In a virtual meeting with WHO officials recently, Her Excellency the Minister of Public Health Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari presented Qatar’s strategy to curb the spread of the infectious disease.

The strategy has strongly focused on contact tracing and testing, followed by appropriate treatment to break the chain of transmission.

"Our testing strategy has focused heavily on contact testing/tracing, which has allowed us to identify a larger number of cases, including those who are asymptomatic, as part of a strategy to limit the spread of the disease," HE the Minister highlighted.

"Not only does this strategy save lives by stopping the spread of the virus, but it also allows us to treat people earlier and to take proactive steps to prevent complications associated with any existing medical conditions," she added.

She further explained that this approach has resulted in a higher number of positive cases as it enabled the country to identify clusters.

But, owing to this approach "we have a very low COVID-19 mortality rate and have had a very low number of patients who require ICU care and hospitalization," HE the Minister said.

The containment strategy "appears to be working with the majority of positive cases in Qatar so far having presented with very mild disease (91 percent), with only around 1 percent requiring treatment in an ICU and 8 percent requiring hospitalization."

HE Dr Al Kuwari also shined a spotlight on COVID-19 treatment facilities in Qatar that includes five hospitals, among which two have been newly opened (in Mesaieed and Ras Laffan).

Moreover, under its screening and testing strategy, Qatar has set up quarantine hotels as well as isolation centers with more than 30,000 beds.

The mobile tracing application, Ehteraz was also launched recently. Other measures include extensive social distancing and a public awareness campaign being carried out in multiple languages and across various platforms.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in radical changes to the way medicine is delivered. We have re-purposed existing resources and facilities and have rapidly expanded capacity by 2,900 new hospital beds, including 700 new ICU beds. We have established contingency plans that will enable us to redeploy manpower from other parts of the healthcare system," HE the Minister said.

"Most outpatient care is now being provided virtually, through telemedicine visits, and we have introduced a number of new services, including an urgent care telephone consultation service, a drive-thru blood coagulation clinic and a medicine delivery service," she underlined.

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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Cover, Inline Image Credit and Source: QNA
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