A senior official of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has affirmed Qatar’s willingness to participate in the international efforts for the vaccine development against the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

“Qatar will be happy to participate in any international clinical trials for the vaccine development for Covid-19. What is needed is global collaboration and we need to unite on an international level to fight Covid-19 as well as such other diseases that might emerge in the future,” said Dr Salih Ali al-Marri, Assistant Minister of Health Affairs, MoPH, on Wednesday

Dr al-Marri was participating in a global panel discussion “Flattening the Curve: Global Responses to COVID-19”, hosted by Qatar Foundation (QF) and the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), the global health initiative of QF, as part of QF’s Education City Speaker Series. The panel included several healthcare experts from around the world.

As for the covid-19 situation in Qatar, Dr al-Marri pointed out that the country has a very good percentage of recovery. “As of now, we have 3,298 active cases while 406 cases have been fully recovered. Moreover, the mortality rate is very low and there were none in the past 48 hours,” he explained.

According to the official, the country is in a good position to manage the situation. “Over 80% of the cases in the country are mild infections and very less percentage of cases are critical. I think we are really in a good position as we are managing the whole situation effectively. The recent rise in the number of cases reported every day is because of the large number of tests being carried out.”

“We also have different pathways for different types of cases and this helps us to test, quarantine, isolate and admit them. We have got very promising outcomes so far from our pandemic fight. Under the very strong governance structure, we are working with our local stakeholders and a very strong leadership of WHO and other international organisations to flatten the curve,” he noted.

Dr al-Marri also pointed out to the challenges that the community will face during the holy month of Ramadan. “There is a challenge with Ramadan approaching, and the psychological impact of people having to stay at home and do things they would not usually do. But we have created platforms to support people, and I hope that by encouraging people to approach Ramadan with a different mindset, they can see it as an opportunity to experience it in a different way,” he said.

He also maintained that the community is co-operating with the government in adhering to the new norms against Covid-19. “Working together is the key for success and more importantly, our community is ready to adhere to all the measures put in place to fight the pandemic. Our heroes and superheroes are our healthcare workers and the community members who are following all the measures such as social distancing, hand washing among others to fight covid-19,” added Dr al-Marri.

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