Qatar has taken all required preventive measures against the newly-emerged coronavirus and the country is well-prepared to respond to any situation, said a senior official at the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), yesterday.

Sheikh Dr Mohammed bin Hamad Al Thani, Director of the Public Health Department at MoPH, while speaking on the sidelines of an event held at the Ministry said:

We would like to assure people that Qatar has taken all the measures needed to ensure that we are getting with the protocols… Till now there are no cases that have been reported in Qatar. With the help of International Collaboration Centre of World Health Organisation (WHO), we have set lines on how to diagnose any case of coronavirus.’

Dr Al Thani also said that the Communicable Disease Centre (CDC) of Hamad Medical Corporation is well prepared to tackle any situation.

Qatar is well prepared for any cases that might occur. We are well prepared, we have continuity from the airport.

Dr Al Thani said that over 90 per cent of people travelling from China are on transit.

We want to ensure they travel safely to their final destination. If any case is reported ever, we have measures to transfer them from the airport to CDC and we ensure that it is very well protected and will be in one isolated ward.’

Dr Al Thani advised that any person coming from China with symptoms must seek medical advice immediately and identify themselves as people who arrived from China in the last two weeks.

It is not the first time. We have worked with MERS-coronavirus (MERS-CoV) which was born in this region and more riskier. We experienced H1N1 10 years ago; we are trained and we keep on updating our information… We take any case seriously in Qatar. We hope that through the media awareness people will have a better orientation on what is needed to be done. We would like to assure people that there is no need for panic.’

Dr Al Thani emphasised that the Pandemic Preparedness Committee has met and taken all needed measures with Hamad International Airport to ensure that all passengers coming from China covered by thermal cameras, messages are spread onboard and how to fill forms if needed and what to do in case anyone presents symptoms of coronavirus.

Deaths reported due to the coronavirus outside China are very few. Although there is an increasing number of new coronavirus cases being reported, the fatality rate is only three per cent.  It is not like MERS-coronavirus (MERS-CoV) which is 33 per cent or SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) which is at 10 per cent.’

Source: The Peninsula Qatar