Strict restrictions, speedy rollout of vaccination program led to drop in daily COVID-19 cases
The decline in the number of daily COVID-19 cases in Qatar recently has been possible due to the country’s implementation of strict safety measures and restrictions as well as the speedy rollout of the nationwide vaccination drive, according to a senior health official.
Speaking to Qatar Television, Head of Vaccination at the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), Dr Soha al-Bayat said, “It is still too early to be sure whether we have overcome the second wave of the pandemic but if we all continue to adhere to the restrictions and follow the preventive measures, we will see a persistent fall in the number of cases.”
The official mentioned that the ongoing restrictions would only be relaxed once the authorities are positive that the threat of the disease has diminished.
Pointing out that the strict measures taken against COVID-19 have contributed a great deal to the decrease in number of COVID-19 related hospital admissions, Dr al-Bayat said, “We continue to impose restrictions to curb the spread of the virus. With a new threat of the emerging Indian variant, Qatar has also introduced mandatory quarantine for travelers returning from some specific countries.”
Over 1.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been provided to citizens and residents of Qatar since the beginning of the National COVID-19 Vaccination Program, she underlined.
“In Qatar, we are making great progress in the rollout of the vaccination program, but we need at least 80 to 90 percent of eligible people to be vaccinated in order to have maximum protection for the entire population,” she said.
“The vaccines do work – our data here in Qatar is conclusive. Since the beginning of 2021, we have had 1,766 Covid-19 admissions to ICU – and just 19 of these patients had been fully vaccinated. Only 1% of Covid-19 ICU admissions have been fully vaccinated against the virus. In fact, non-vaccinated people of all ages in Qatar are 91 times more likely to be admitted to ICU with Covid-19 than fully vaccinated people,” the senior health official highlighted.
Dr al-Bayat further mentioned that the drive-through vaccination centers have played an essential role in ensuring the success of the vaccination drive. Over 17,000 individuals have visited these centers so far, she said.
“To improve the user experience at the drive-through centers, we have adjusted the policy for eligibility and from now on only people getting their first dose at Qatar National Convention Centre will be eligible for their second dose at the Lusail and Al Wakra drive-through centers,” she said.
“Other people who receive their first dose at a primary health center will be booked for a second dose appointment at the same health center,” she added.
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