The recent increases in Covid-19 positive cases among Qatari and expat families could lead to increases in hospitalisations, and deaths, in the near future if people fail to follow the official prevention advice issued by the Ministry of Public Health, a top-level meeting was told Monday.
The meeting of the Covid-19 System Wide Incident Command Committee (SWICC) was attended by HE the Minister of Public Health Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari, Hamad Medical Corporation announced in a statement.
HE the Minister of Public Health Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari at the SWICC meeting
Although the numbers are reducing there is concern on the increased severity of the illness with more patients being admitted directly to ICU, it was pointed out at the meeting where the minister was briefed on the latest updates and plans to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic in Qatar.
The SWICC is made up of clinical and operational leaders from across the healthcare sector and was formed in February, before any cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Qatar, to lead the healthcare sector’s response to the virus.
"Covid-19 is far from over in Qatar," SWICC chair Dr Saad al-Kaabi told the meeting. "We will be living with the virus for many months to come, but as a healthcare sector, we should be proud of our efforts so far. We have worked with speed and efficiency to more than triple our ICU bed capacity and establish medical and isolation facilities for tens of thousands of Covid-19 patients.
"By ensuring anyone with Covid-19 can quickly access the medical care they need we have been able to treat their symptoms early and prevent complications – this has been a key factor in Qatar having one of the lowest Covid-19 death rates in the world,” Dr al-Kaabi said.
HE Dr al-Kuwari recalled that at the beginning of this pandemic, one of the most critical elements of Qatar's healthcare system’s response was to be able to plan and deliver an effective operational response to Covid-19. "Making sure that we had enough hospital beds, intensive care capacity, and isolation facilities to provide high-quality care to everyone who needed it has been central to the success of our response to Covid-19,” she observed.
“This has been no easy task, and it is the SWICC committee, chaired by Dr Saad al-Kaabi, who have worked tirelessly over the last few months to make sure that we have always had enough beds and staff to provide high-quality care for all our Covid-19 patients. We thank them for their unwavering dedication and commitment to our patients,” HE the minister added.
“On behalf of all members of SWICC, I would like to thank HE Dr al-Kuwari. Throughout this unprecedented pandemic, the minister’s leadership and guidance have enabled us to effectively plan and deliver our comprehensive strategy,’’ explained Dr al-Kaabi.
“In addition to leading the healthcare sector’s Covid-19 response, the SWICC has also been responsible for making sure our non-Covid-19 services continue to run wherever possible and we have overseen some of the most rapid innovation in service provision imaginable: all to make sure our patients can get continuity of care during this challenging time,” added Dr al-Kaabi.