*Over 3,000 tests done; all 12 positive cases found among the evacuees from Iran; no need to panic in Qatar
*Residents can call
About 3,100 people have been tested for Coronavirus (Covid-19) in Qatar so far and only 12 out of them have been found positive, senior healthcare officials said Saturday.
They also highlighted that Qatar has set up a very efficient and heightened surveillance system to protect people from Covid-19.
“All the 12 cases that tested positive are people who have been evacuated from Iran on a special chartered plane. They were all kept in quarantine immediately after their arrival in Doha and none of them had any contact with community members,” assured Sheikh Dr Mohamed bin Hamad al-Thani, director of Public Health at the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH).
Dr Hamad Eid al-Rumaihi, director, Department of Health Protection and Prevention of Transitional Diseases, MoPH and Dr Abdullatif al-Khal, head of Infectious Diseases Division, Hamad Medical Corporation were also present at the press conference held at the MoPH headquarters.
“We have a very efficient and heightened surveillance system in the country and there is no need for the public to panic due to Covid-19. All the people entering Qatar are subjected to thermal screening and there are a number of medical teams at the Hamad International Airport (HIA) clinic for screening and assistance for all the passengers coming from endemic countries,” explained Dr al-Rumaihi.
The officials noted that the public have to look after themselves through various measures and several tips have been provided on the ministry's website and through social media platforms for awareness and education.
“We have made efforts to protect the community from exposure to the new coronavirus. However, the public also must take adequate measures to safeguard themselves. They should not believe any of the rumours, especially on the social media and must check with the Ministry of Public Health website for all the updates. All the details and tips about protecting people against Covid-19 are given on the website and they can get all the latest details there,” noted Dr al-Khal.
The officials further urged the public to cooperate with health authorities and to present themselves to the healthcare facilities if they develop symptoms or have travelled to an "epidemic" country.
Sheikh Mohamed said that people have to take care of the situation. “If anyone is found to be sick with similar symptoms of Covid-19, they have to urgently, inform the health officials. There is a hotline, 16,000, which works 24X7 for all the Covid-19 related queries. If people find themselves sick, they should either get to the medical facility or others have to take them for medical assistance,” he advised.
Dr al-Khal said that there was no shortage of sanitisers and masks in Qatar and there will be efforts to make more materials available all across the country.
“We have good stock of all the materials and there is no shortage of medicine or other materials in the local market. The ministry is working to provide masks and sterilisation materials in greater quantities to the pharmacies in the coming days,” said Dr al-Khal.
“We monitor the condition of patients in isolation very frequently. We examine them three times before confirming that they have recovered and they will undergo three laboratory tests,” noted Dr al-Khal.
The officials also highlighted that personal hygiene is very important to avoid infection. They pointed out that there are a number of videos and other materials on the MoPH website that are very useful and more of such videos and education materials will be uploaded in the coming days.