The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) in collaboration with the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), HMC Ambulance, HMC Laboratories and Qatar University operated drive through swabbing hubs at three PHCC health centres over two days.
The aim of this exercise, which ended on Thursday, was to conduct a survey and gain more insight into community transmission of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) and asymptomatic cases, which will in turn inform policy decisions.
HE the Minister of Public Health Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari said: "We are constantly looking at new ways of identifying any undetected cases in the community so that we help to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and provide the appropriate care and support to those infected but not showing any symptoms. We have used drive through testing in the past successfully and we invite you to join this latest drive through initiative. I urge everyone who receives an SMS to take part and get tested."
In line with national guidance, the swabbing hubs at PHCC health tested 2,500 members of the public at three Primary Health Care Centers: Al Thumama, Al Waab and Leabaib staffed by PHCC, HMC and Qatar University Volunteers.
This service was not a drop-in service and only those who meet the nationally agreed criteria for research and have been asked to attend will be given the test.
Those referred to the drive through swabbing hubs arrived in their own car and did not enter the building. They were registered and asked a series of questions for research purposes, then proceeded to be swabbed by specially trained health worker. The swabbing process involved a cotton bud being inserted into the nose, the sample then securely stored and transported to HMC Laboratory for analysis.
Once participants are swabbed at one of the drive through hubs, they will receive results from the Ministry of Public Health as soon as possible by phone.
Members of the public called for the test were not suspect Covid-19 patients. PHCC pointed out that it will continue to work closely with key stakeholders across the sector to determine requirements for these services to be provided in the future.
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