Education and awareness key in preventing Covid-19 spread
August 27 2020 09:37 PM
Robert Hall
Robert Hall

*  Qatar leads in tracing and control, education and support to fight Covid-19

Education, as well as raising awareness, plays a vital role in encouraging the public, particularly mall-goers and shoppers, to follow health and safety protocols to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), Doha Festival City (DHFC) general manager Robert Hall has said.

“I think in most cases, remind, educate, learn and teach, learn and behave. It’s just what we need (to do), constant updating is the answer,” Hall told reporters at a recent virtual press briefing. He said interacting with customers and reminding them about the importance of adhering to stringent precautionary measures within mall premises help ensure the safety of all. It is learnt that some mall-goers and shoppers tend to remove or bring down their face masks after entrance checks and while roaming around the mall. Others refuse to follow social distancing measures and other instructions.

Malls, as well as other shopping centres and commercial buildings, in Qatar also require employees and visitors to show their green Ehteraz QR code before entering their premises, in addition to wearing face masks at all time.

“Our team works around consistently with signage, interact with customers and just remind them (about the measures while inside the mall). I think it is about education,” Hall said.

“We do enjoy the support from the Ministry of Interior, the CID and the police, we have offices in the mall in every trading hour, and in certain circumstances, it may be relevant for us to resort to those authorities and remind certain customers that it is not actually a personal choice, it is about respect of the nation and everyone else,” he pointed out.

“It is a habit and we have to get into that habit and we all hope for a solution to the pandemic, to a worldwide issue, and certainly Qatar has been leading without any shadow of doubt both in tracing and control, education and support through hospitalisation,” Hall said.

He noted that residents should be grateful and fortunate to be in Qatar (having one of the lowest Covid-19 death rate) because of the support of the government at this particular time. Hall said he also finds it appropriate not to hold festivals and promotions that would attract large crowds at this moment to a way of encouraging social distancing measures aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19.

“We value education, we value learning, we value the brands and we value our relationships with our customers, and so in creating the right environment… so, perhaps shopping is more needs-based,” Hall said. “'Buy one, take one' it is not going to happen at the moment, we will introduce maybe perhaps in late September or October. Competitive pricing and product, yes,” he said, referring to back-to-school offers at DHFC.

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