The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) announced three more coronovirus (Covid-19) cases in Qatar Monday, taking the total number to 18 but assured that the virus spread was very limited in the country.
“We have identified three more cases who had contacts with the three cases that were tested positive on Sunday. All of them have been admitted at the Communicable Diseases Center under complete quarantine, and everyone who shared the residence with them have been isolated,” Sheikh Dr Mohamed bin Hamad al-Thani, director of Public Health Department, MoPH, told a press conference.
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.
“We have screened about 300 people who were in contact with the three confirmed cases announced earlier and the latest tests detected three more cases. The Central Market and a hypermarket where the infected people are working have been closed temporarily and sterilised,” he explained.
Dr al-Khal highlighted that there were no deaths related to Covid-19 in Qatar. “There are rumours on several platforms about Covid-19 deaths in the country. These are absolutely false. Do not believe any such rumours and people must contact the ministry hotline for any information. We have an efficient 24x7 hotline - 16000,” he explained.
The official also said that the ability to quickly identify and screen about 300 people related to the three positive cases announced on Sunday, proves the efficiency of the healthcare system in the country.
“This is proof of the effectiveness of public health measures in the country as the Ministry of Public Health started immediately implementing early detection and containment measures of persons who were in contact with the positive three cases. They traced all the contact persons from Sunday’s cases at their residences and work place, screened and put them on quarantine. The laboratory results were positive for only three of them,” he highlighted.
Dr al-Khal also maintained that the investigation and tracing are still going on and all the three admitted in isolation, are in good health. “Other patients diagnosed positive over the past few days are also in good health,” he said.
According to Dr al-Rumaihi, the ministry has been actively involved in locating all the suspected cases right from the early days and in providing all the necessary support for the local community. “We have a dedicated page on our website with a number of educational materials and videos about the disease. All the guidelines are available on the website. We are updating the website regularly and our hotline works round the clock to answer any queries from the public. Qatar is following the example of developed countries in dealing with the coronavirus by detecting the cases and isolating people if there are confirmed infections.We also provide treatment for them and there are specialised medical teams working around the clock,” he said.
Dr Sheikh Mohamed stressed that the heightened surveillance system for detecting the virus in the community helps in reducing the spread of Covid-19 in the country. “The spread of the virus is still limited in the community. About 3,500 tests have been conducted since the emergence of the disease and the total number of cases infected with the virus is only 18. Qatar’s primary healthcare, secondary and tertiary care and ministries are working together. We are taking several measures now for precautions,” he highlighted.
The official appealed to the embassies, community leaders and the general public to co-operate with the efforts of the ministry so that the spread of the disease can be brought under control at the earliest. He also stressed that people have to follow all the guidelines to prevent the spread of the disease and maintain hygiene in all aspects.

Schools, universities closed from Tuesday until further notice

All schools and universities in Qatar will remain closed from today until further notice, the Government Communications Office (GCO) announced yesterday.
In a statement, the GCO said the suspension is within the efforts and measures taken by Qatar to limit the spread of the new coronavirus (Covid-19) and to ensure the safety of students in all public and private educational institutions.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Public Health has urged all residents to avoid gatherings in public places and to avoid all but essential travel at this time. "Apply measures to prevent infection as recommended by the ministry on its website and its accounts on social media."
The ministry has launched a dedicated, round-the-clock call centre to answer all inquiries related to coronavirus. The toll-free hotline number is 16000.

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