* MoPH reports 718 new Covid-19 cases, 1,513 recoveries and 179,974 total recoveries
The number of recoveries from Covid-19 in Qatar was more than double that of new confirmed cases in the past 24 hours, according to official statistics released Saturday.
The MoPH Saturday reported 718 new confirmed cases of Covid-19, while the number of recoveries stood at 1,513 during the past 24 hours, the daily coronavirus data showed. There have been a total of 179,974 recoveries so far, it added.
Of the new cases, 553 were community cases while 165 were recorded among travellers returning from abroad, Qatar News Agency said in a report.
The ministry Saturday also announced five new deaths, of people aged 45, 56, 59, 62 and 62 years. Three of them had chronic diseases and been receiving the necessary medical care.
The number of new Covid-19 cases in Qatar has been dropping over the past few days. MoPH data show that 896 new cases were reported on Monday (April 19), 885 on Tuesday, 819 on Wednesday, 800 on Thursday and 798 on Friday.
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At the same time, the number of new recoveries has been rising - 728 on Monday, 733 on Tuesday, 757 on Wednesday, 976 on Thursday and 1,297 on Friday.
In a statement Saturday, the MoPH said a total of 1,394,781 Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Qatar since the start of the programme, with 22,385 doses given in the past 24 hours.
The ministry said 39.5% of the eligible population has now received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 84.3% of over-60s (the most vulnerable population group) have been vaccinated with at least one dose, and 71.2% have received both doses.
"Every day, hundreds of people are becoming sick due to Covid-19 with many requiring admission to hospital to manage their symptoms," the statement said. "Since February 1, the number of people with Covid-19 admitted to hospital has doubled.
"Qatar's strict quarantine policy for returning travellers enabled us to delay the introduction of new variants into this country for several months, but we are now seeing positive Covid-19 cases in the region and in Qatar with the new variants from South Africa.
"This new variant is much more contagious and spreads more easily between people than the existing strain, and may be associated with increased severity of the disease.
" The good news is that the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines being used in our vaccination programme are effective against the new variants," the ministry stressed. "The pace of the vaccination programme means that there is finally hope of a gradual return to normal for us here in Qatar and people around the world. But this will not happen in the next few weeks or months.
"Covid-19 will continue to be a threat to our health for most of 2021 and until all eligible members of our population have been vaccinated, we must continue to follow the preventive measures."
It is important for everyone to play their role in controlling the virus by following the precautionary measures, the MoPH reiterated. These are adherence to physical distancing; avoiding close contact with others, crowded places and confined closed spaces where other people congregate; wearing a face mask; and washing hands regularly.
Anyone suffering from Covid-19 symptoms should contact the 16000 helpline immediately. This is important as the earlier the disease is detected, the easier it will be to receive the right treatment and recover from it.
One can visit the MoPH website for regular updates and new information.
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