As Qatar is experiencing a cold spell, marked by a "significant decrease" in the minimum temperature, healthcare experts have advised people to take extra care to protect themselves against related viral diseases.
They told local Arabic daily Arrayah that taking simple precautions such as wearing adequate warm clothes, avoiding exposure to cold air currents, and avoiding moving suddenly from warm to cold places or vice versa would guarantee more protection.
Abu Samra recorded the lowest temperature so far this winter at 4C for two consecutive days, according to statistics from the Qatar Met department.
With a sharp drop in temperature, the chances for viruses to spread become greater, including the new coronavirus that causes Covid-19 and the common cold and seasonal flu viruses. Further, when the weather is colder, there are more chances for contacting respiratory diseases, especially of the pulmonary and the upper respiratory system.
Dr Ismail Ahmed, consultant pulmonologist, advised people with respiratory issues to avoid going out in the cold weather and protect themselves by wearing adequate warm clothes, besides avoiding contact with people who have seasonal flu. He also recommended the seasonal flu vaccine.
Dr Abdulkhaliq Amir al-Neaimi, consultant of internal medicine, pointed out that most people in the region got used to the warm and hot climate but not to cold weather spells as it happens over short periods. He further advised people to avoid using wood blocks or coal in making fire for warming up in places with poor ventilation.
Dr Mohamed al-Dosoki, consultant pulmonologist, advised people to enhance their immunity through good nutrition, getting the required amounts of vitamins and minerals, and eating good amounts of fruits and vegetables. He stressed the importance of drinking adequate amounts of water and having enough sleep in the night, and regular exercise, at least some walking.
The doctors also urged the people should continue to strictly abide by the preventive and precautionary measures against Covid-19 such as wearing facemasks, avoiding crowded places and maintaining adequate physical distancing from others.