More than 8,500 people tested for COVID-19 in Qatar

More than 8,500 people tested for COVID-19 in Qatar

By QLNews

Qatar has been working to the best of its capabilities to ensure the good health and safety of its citizens and residents in current times.

As the country continues to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), it has introduced a series of measures and taken some highly significant decisions.

Amid all efforts taken in the best interest of the public, health authorities in Qatar have gone above and beyond to detect and monitor suspected cases of the virus.

In a meeting with health officials from Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology (DLMP), Her Excellency the Minister of Public Health Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari said the country has appropriately prioritized diagnostic testing and supported the relevant laboratory response network, in this regard.

As of March 17, as many as 8,547 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Qatar.

The country's proactive program of testing for this novel disease means Qatar has one of the highest testing rates in the world.

Dr Al Kuwari underlined that Qatar remains open and transparent throughout the testing process. The relevant data is regularly shared on the Ministry of Public Health’s website.

According to the Health Minister, local testing capacity is a key step to ensure an efficient testing process. This ascertains that the information needed to respond quickly and efficiently, in such situations, is available.

She acknowledged HMC’s DLMP as an essential part of Qatar’s COVID-19 preparedness and response plan.

Talking about the COVID-19 testing process, Dr Ajayeb al-Nabet, chairperson of the DLMP said, "Very early on we quickly mobilized resources, equipment, and staff to rapidly and effectively respond to this issue. HMC’s laboratories now operate round-the-clock in three shifts to process tests for suspected Covid-19 cases."

"Results are issued at 9 am, 5 pm and 10 pm daily and critical cases can be tested on an individual basis," Dr al-Nabet said.

"We are also in the process of introducing new equipment that will enable us to do fully automated, round-the-clock testing that will significantly reduce the length of time it takes to get test results," she said. 

Meanwhile, health authorities in Qatar continue to implement the highest level of monitoring, detection, and management procedures to deal with the virus, and the public has been advised to follow certain measures to safeguard their health.

These include:

- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, particularly after touching objects when you are outside or after shaking hands

- Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze, and dispose used tissues

- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands

- Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illnesses

- If you experience symptoms including cough, sneezing, and fever, limit your contact with other people

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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Source: Gulf Times
Cover and Inline Image Credit: Qatar Tribune
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