There are programmes under development to provide vaccination for all the attendees of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said on Friday, as reported by Qatar News Agency.
"We will be able, hopefully, to host it as a Covid-free event," he told the Raisina Dialogue, hosted virtually by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation. "We have been negotiating and talking to the vaccination providers on how we can make sure that everyone attending the World Cup is vaccinated.”
HE Sheikh Mohamed stressed that Qatar is well-prepared to demonstrate to the world “that we can host such an event (2022 World Cup) and have it hopefully in-person, and this is our plan from the beginning”.
He added the World Cup in Qatar “will be a great opportunity for the world as the first happy event that will take place after the Covid-19 pandemic and isolation”.
He underlined that Qatar, from the beginning, wanted to make sure, even with the continuation of the pandemic, to know how to host a successful World Cup with physical presence so that people could attend and enjoy the event.
"I think one of the important elements that Qatar has made is its commitment to the world. For example, Hamad International Airport remained open to travellers who want to transit. Qatar Airways participated very actively in the repatriation of citizens from different countries, and we also provided our support, especially in the first days when we had those issues in providing ventilators, masks etc, and there was a shortage of these materials in the market," he said.
HE the Foreign Minister noted that Qatar’s support extended to nearly 50 countries, in addition to its active participation in the Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) initiative, adding: "We tried to address it in a 360-view, addressing the global issue and responding as a responsible member in the international community, being responsible for our own community, by making sure that our healthcare system is resilient, and our economy can stand in the face of this crisis."
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs affirmed that Qatar has made an effort to ensure the minimum negative impact from this pandemic, adding that the first priority in making sure that its healthcare system is resilient, so when the pandemic started last year, Qatar put develop plans in place to ensure the provision of maximum care by healthcare teams to the people.
"Qatar has the minimum fatality rate in the world, which is due to making sure that we are not overloading our healthcare system and always have a room and enough spaces to hospitalise people and also moving forward by testing in advance and taking random samples from different communities," he explained.
HE the Foreign Minister pointed out that the State provided stimulus packages like last year, starting with a package of $20bn for soft loans, and some industry loans, energy fees, and so on was ceded to companies, adding that the State reviews these packages every six months to provide such a package when needed.
When the pandemic started, everyone expected it will end by 2021 and that all events will return to normal, but not yet as the world is still facing some mutated strains of Covid-19, which made it a bit difficult, he noted.
He added that countries of the world have responded to the pandemic differently this year than last year as they have learned from previous mistakes.
He explained, “The good thing in the State of Qatar is we didn't take the extreme measure of lockdowns, yet we made sure that we are taking extreme measures of social distancing, making people wear masks mandatorily, and having strict rules for public places and gatherings."
These measures made Qatar maintain the numbers related to the pandemic, and randomised test samples also allowed us to isolate infected people from healthy persons, he added.
The Raisina Dialogue is a multilateral conference committed to addressing the most challenging issues facing the global community. The sixth edition of the prestigious event, being held from Tuesday, concluded on Friday.
The theme was ‘#ViralWorld: Outbreaks, Outliers and Out of Control’.
Earlier, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a video address at the inaugural session of the Raisina Dialogue, along with chief guests Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, and Mette Frederiksen, Prime Minister of Denmark.
Modi observed that this edition of the Raisina Dialogue was taking place at a watershed moment in human history against the backdrop of the Covid-19, pandemic which has been ravaging the world for more than a year, the Indian embassy in Qatar said in a statement.
The prime minister called upon the global community to introspect on some pertinent questions in the present context.
Modi emphasised that global systems should adapt themselves in order to address the underlying causes and not just the symptoms. The prime minister called for "keeping humanity at the centre of our thoughts and action, and creating systems that address the problems of today and the challenges of tomorrow."
He elaborated upon India’s pandemic response efforts, both domestically as well as in form of assistance to other countries. Modi also called for joint efforts to meet the varied challenges posed by the pandemic and reiterated that India would share its strengths for global good, the statement added.
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