*More healthcare facilities ready if needed

Sheikh Dr Mohamed bin Hamad al-Thani, director of Public Health, at the Ministry of Public Health, has assured that all residents of the country, Qataris and non-Qataris, are being given equal healthcare services and nobody will be left behind.

He also stressed the country is well prepared for the situation and there was no room for any panic and more healthcare facilities are being readied if any such situation emerges.

“I want to assure you that this country is for every one of you and nobody will be left behind in any aspect. There is no need for panic and everything is in order. Government is with the people and supports them in every aspect. It is very clear from the announcements made on Sunday,” Sheikh Mohamed told Gulf Times.

“We care about all the people in the country and healthcare services are provided equally irrespective of Qataris or non-Qataris. The first four cases treated and cured are those of non-Qataris. They are from Jordan, Philippines, Sudan and Iran. This shows that we care for all the people and the care is given equally,” he continued.

Sheikh Mohamed said that Qatar is well prepared to meet the situation and has been making every effort for several years to provide the best healthcare system.

“Other than the Communicable Disease Centre, we are making use of the Muaither health centre for Covid-19 cases. Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital at Industrial Area is also being used. We have plans to make use of Rawdat Al Khail and Al Gharaffa health centres if there are more cases,” he explained.

According to Sheikh Mohamed, the ministry has adopted a proper balance in the number of healthcare facilities in the country. “We have been studying the healthcare needs of the country. We have Hamad Medical Corporation and a number of hospitals under it at different areas such as Al Khor, Al Wakra and Ras Laffan and Mesaieed.

“Mesaieed facility is not officially opened yet but now we have upgraded it and making use of the facility for this purpose. If any large scale testing for Covid-19 is needed, we have made arrangements for the same at Asian Town cricket stadium," disclosed the official.

Sheikh Mohamed expressed happiness that the messages sent out by the ministry have been well received by the community members. “Qataris and non-Qataris have been very co-operative in our efforts. All the companies and their directors have promised us to take care of the instructions and provide all the necessary materials and support to the workers. This will ensure that Qatar will be more hygienic and clean at all places and among all sections of the society,” he pointed out.

The official stressed that the coming two weeks are very important to control the disease and stop any spike that happened in countries such as China, Italy or Iran.

“We want to protect everyone from the disease. By following the protocols and the guidelines, everyone can minimise the probability of spreading the disease. We have intensified our efforts to lower the spread of the disease. If any case is detected at any of the places, I advise the concerned companies to decontaminate the places, as people might be afraid to work at such places,” he emphasised.

Sheikh Mohamed also told that the ministry is in constant touch with the World Health Organisation (WHO). “We communicate with WHO officials once or twice a week. We get all their advice and with advanced technology, we also get all their directives instantly. I believe that with advancements in technology we are able to work as one team and contain it soon,” he concluded.

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