The unjust blockade on Qatar, imposed nearly three years ago, helped boost the country’s efforts to become sustainable and well-prepared to fight another crisis – the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, according to Qatar-Indonesia Business Council president Farhan al-Sheikh al-Sayed.

Many local industries and companies in Qatar flourished during the blockade, creating various opportunities for expansion, he told Gulf Times.

“We now have a state-of-the-art dairy farm which is in a position to export, we have a state-of-the-art Hamad Port which opened at the start of the blockade on Qatar,” al-Sayed noted.

The entrepreneur recounted that the blockade happened in Ramadan in 2017 and “we are also in Ramadan right now, and we are well supplied in almost everything amid the (Covid-19) pandemic.”

It is learnt that several other sectors, including the agriculture industry, witnessed ‘positive transformations’ due to the blockade.

Qatari farms produced more and expanded their operations to meet the growing demand and achieve food security.

Under these difficult times, al-Sayed, also a philanthropist, said pharmacies and hypermarkets, as well as other essential stores, across the country have remained open to serve residents.

Al-Sayed said people have easy access to medicines and there was no food shortage amid the pandemic: stores have enough supplies and stocks, from essentials such as vegetables, fruits, animal meat and fish to other food products.

Apart from essential items, he added that pharmacies and other authorised outlets also have a steady supply of sanitisers, face masks, gloves, and face shields, among others.

Al-Sayed lauded the country’s efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19, citing strict precautionary measures and directives such as the mandatory wearing of face masks in public aimed at protecting the health and welfare of residents.

The Covid-19 crisis, he stressed, showed the high standard of health care in Qatar, having a high number of recoveries and one of the lowest death rates in the world like Singapore.

“It was interesting to know that Qatar and Singapore are very similar in lots of things, in aspects of high number but at the same time big (number of) recoveries and very low death rates, that shows that the standard of healthcare in Qatar is very high,” said al-Sayed, who was a panellist in a recently-held webinar.

“Health authorities have done a great job in keeping the death rate low by having a high standard of healthcare,” he added.