*'Etheraz application playing vital role in keeping people safe'

A new Ehteraz function is set to be introduced in mid-September to support people undergoing home quarantine, Qatar News Agency has reported.

In cases where individuals reside in a location without a 'blue plate' listing their national address, or in cases where they choose to quarantine in a location different from their primary registered residence, they will be able to use the map function to select their quarantine location.

Individuals will only have the ability to select the home quarantine location once. After their initial selection, the location will be locked for the duration of the quarantine.

Meanwhile, the Chair of the Ehteraz Joint Taskforce Committee and Hamad General Hospital Medical Director Dr Yousef al-Maslamani has said that with Qatar having entered Phase 4 of the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, the Ehteraz mobile application is playing an important role in keeping Qatar's population safe.

Launched at the end of April, Ehteraz is a highly advanced application that has been developed to help keep residents of Qatar safe from Covid-19 and support the hard work of the frontline public health teams in the fight against the pandemic.

"All the evidence from here in Qatar and around the world shows that Covid-19 is a highly transmissible virus with the ability to spread rapidly. Ehteraz has provided us with an advanced application to support both the public and the health sector during Covid-19," said Dr al-Maslamani.

"The universal and sustained use of Ehteraz offers critical benefits to citizens and residents of Qatar and helps to protect individuals, family members, and the entire community. The success of Ehteraz in keeping people safe from Covid-19 requires the support of the population and for all citizens, residents, and visitors to download the application and ensure they have it running at all times when outside of their home. I would like to thank the people of Qatar for the way they have positively responded to Ehteraz and welcomed it as a vital tool that is helping us all get through this difficult time," Dr al-Maslamani added.

Dr al-Maslamani explained how Ehteraz supports the community with a wide range of benefits, including providing an easy way to receive the daily Qatar Covid-19 statistics and health advice. He says it also reassures users about the status of others they may be in contact with by allowing them to ask to see their Ehteraz status. He notes it also helps people feel safe and protected in public facilities including malls, supermarkets, and offices.

Since Qatar announced its revised Covid-19 travel policy at the end of July, Ehteraz has been supporting people undergoing home quarantine after returning from abroad. Passengers arriving from low-risk countries have their Ehteraz status set to yellow for the duration of their home quarantine. They must perform a swab test on day six and their Ehteraz status will not turn green until the swab test is performed and a negative result has been verified. This process helps to reduce the risk of returning travelers bringing the virus back into Qatar and passing it on to other members of the community.

Meanwhile, the Director of E-Health at the Ministry of Public Health, and Co-Chair of the Ehteraz Joint Taskforce Committee Dr Juliet Ibrahim said: "Ehteraz is also a vital tool being used by our frontline teams at the Ministry of Public Health. The teams are actively working to identify the contacts of confirmed cases as well as potential new cases of the virus to cut of transmission chains and reduce further spread of Covid-19".

"Ehteraz can help frontline teams identify if someone has been in close proximity with a positive case and also helps to ensure that contacts of positive cases adhere to required quarantine protocols," added Dr Ibrahim added.

Answers to common questions related to Ehteraz can be found both within the application itself and on the Ministry of Public Health Covid-19 website. Additionally, people can raise technical issues with the support team by calling 109, or for more general Covid-19 queries, the support team on 16000 is available to answer queries.