The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) yesterday said there are no confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country so far.
In a statement, the ministry said it was monitoring global developments with regard to the disease, taking note of the increase in confirmed cases in several countries in addition to confirmed cases announced recently in the region, the official Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported.
The MoPH stressed that it continues to develop screening procedures as dictated by relevant changes and information received from the World Health Organization.
It advised citizens and residents against travelling to China, as well as to avoid unnecessary travel to countries that have announced a COVID-19 outbreak, including South Korea, Japan, Singapore and Iran, whether for tourism, work or other reasons.
Further, the ministry advised that those who are travelling to such places must avoid contact with anyone who shows symptoms of respiratory infections. They should also wash and sanitise their hands frequently, it added.
The MoPH called on all people coming from the above-mentioned countries to monitor their health status within 14 days of arriving from those places and to communicate with the designated health authorities as soon as any symptoms related to respiratory infections appear. It explained that COVID-19's symptoms appear within two to 14 days after exposure.
The ministry has provided all the capabilities required to ensure the diagnosis and treatment of cases when they are discovered and the necessary measures to quarantine patients when necessary, the QNA report states.
The MoPH added that such measures help the State in strengthening its procedures and health monitoring at all border crossing points. The ministry has also worked on raising awareness to ensure that the public has correct and accurate information about the disease and is aware of the most important methods of prevention.
The rapid response team at the MoPH operates round the clock and receives any communication or enquiries related to transmitted diseases, including the novel coronavirus.