More people affected with novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in Qatar are recovering and their details will be announced in the coming days, a top official of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) told Gulf Times in an exclusive interview.

“All the four recovered cases have been discharged from the hospital and many more are on the recovery path,” Sheikh Dr Mohamed bin Hamad al-Thani, Director of Public Health, said.

All the recovered cases have been advised to stay home for a few more days just to make sure that everything goes well.

“We can handle the situation very effectively and have the best protocol in place for curing the disease with a combination of treatment options. In this regard, we are ready to help the people as much as possible,” he said.

“Now the number of people in quarantine is going down as many of the cases have been found negative. Similarly, the number in quarantine will dramatically go down in the coming days as nobody can travel to Qatar for the next two weeks,” the official said.

According to him, the number of positive cases will not see any huge increase in the coming days. He said that the cases being reported now have been in large numbers because the testing of the people, who are in quarantine from the epicentre of the disease, is being finalised.

“I think we had high number of cases reported these days and such huge number of cases will not happen again. This happened because many of the quarantined people were tested on the same day and we made the announcement of 238 cases on a particular day. Even if any cases are detected in the coming days, it would be only in very less numbers, maybe in tens, not more than that,” explained Sheikh Mohamed.

The official said that the next two weeks is the most crucial period and through the measures announced on Sunday, the ministry is hopeful to contain the spread of the disease in a big way.

Sheikh Mohamed said that as per the initial assessment, the virus found among the patients in Qatar, is not very aggressive as in Wuhan, China.

“We have no deaths and no intensive cases so far and we assume that the virus here is somewhat benign and not very aggressive. We are trying to sequencing the virus and as of now, we find that the virus affected in the country is not very aggressive. Moreover, no old people in Qatar have been affected by the virus and most cases are among people who are very healthy. This disease is not a killer and it becomes so only in certain categories of people,” he described.

The Public Health director said that Qatar’s healthcare system was able to identify the cases through a very effective surveillance using its Severe and Acute Respiratory Infection Programme.

“We first found three cases and located them at the Industrial Area of the city. We went to the market where these people have been working as well as their houses and were able to locate all the contacts of these cases. Since they were labourers and living in close contact among them, we quarantined hundreds of people, checked them and found many positive for the disease,” he pointed out.

“We tested people in other places and there were no such widespread cases. At this particular location in Industrial Area, we had the maximum number of cases. Most of the cases are from this area and other ones are a few sporadic cases from people coming from other places to Qatar,” he noted.

“We could identify all the contact persons of the tested cases. Labourers are the most difficult people to trace and we were successful in tracing all of them. All the cases tested positive are very healthy and not in danger,” added Sheikh Mohamed.