By Carlos Hernandez, Ambassador of Argentina to Qatar
The situation the world is currently facing was unexpected. A deadly virus spread rapidly around the world, in over 200 countries, leading to terrible consequences wherever it reached - both from the human and economic perspectives. Almost 2mn people have been infected while around 125,000 have lost their lives (as of Tuesday night), and there is also high unemployment and recession-like conditions in most of the countries affected.
Within this sad scope, and as the ambassador of Argentina, I would like to firmly express my deep appreciation for the professional and efficient way in which the Qatari authorities are dealing with this issue.
They took crucial preventive measures and issued legislation on time in order to be able to protect the health of Qatari citizens, expatriates and the diplomatic community. As Argentina’s ambassador, I know Argentine citizens living and working in Qatar are well looked after and they are in good hands.
Hospitals, health professionals, equipment, beds and medical facilities for quarantine are ready and well-organised. Economic decisions and on- time preparations allowed supermarkets and pharmacies to offer all that is necessary for the public and without any stress. This is unusual compared to what we are seeing in other parts of the world, including developed countries.
Apart from that, Qatar has shown its usual generosity in helping other countries with equipment as well as fully equipped field hospitals with the best technology to treat Covid-19 in order to help them cope with this difficult situation. This shows the clear vision of the Qatari authorities, stressing on human solidarity, under the guidance of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
Argentina is around 13,000km away from Qatar; but believe or not, despite being almost at the end of the world we are dealing with the same difficult situation. At the same time, we had and still have thousands of Argentine tourists around the world. They need and want to fly back home. While we were compelled to close our borders, Qatar Airways was crucial for us and we worked closely together to take them back home from South Asia, Australasia and Europe through the ‘Doha corridor’.
I want to express our gratitude to the Qatari authorities who have always been supportive in achieving that goal, and especially to HE Akbar al-Baker, without whom we wouldn’t have been able to achieve it.