The government of Qatar warned the public that even though the state has observed a decline on the average rate of recorded COVID-19 cases, the pandemic is still present and has the ability to spread rapidly.
In a press conference, Dr Abdullatif Al Khal, Chair of the National Strategic Group on COVID-19 and Head of the Infectious Diseases Division at Hamad Medical Corporation stressed that the pandemic has not ended yet. Dr Khal noted that there has been an increase in positive cases among Qatari nationals and expat professionals. He said this is of great concern as this population group is the one which has the highest proportion of elderly people and people with chronic conditions.
Based on the latest update from the Ministry of Public Health, there are currently 17, 979 active cases in Qatar. It is also noteworthy that 71,501 of 89,579 recorded cases in Qatar have already recovered.
According to Dr. Khal, the State of Qatar is now past the peak of the coronavirus but if people will relax their effort in applying precautionary measures, it could expose the public to a second wave of coronavirus pandemic. He said It is vital that the public still continue to protect the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions. He said:
We are midway through Phase 1 of the lifting of restrictions but we can only move to Phase 2 if the data shows continual improvement. It is essential that people follow all preventive advice and measures as the restrictions are lifted.
The authorities said they are seeing an increase in the number of deaths in recent weeks and this is due to people who were infected at the peak of the virus several weeks ago. According to the latest COVID-19 update in Qatar, 99 deaths have already been recorded in the state since the start of the pandemic. Chairperson of National Pandemic Preparedness Committee stressed that the death rate in Qatar is still low if compared to other countries.
Dr Hamad Al Romaihi, Director of Health Protection and Communicable Disease Control at the Public Health Department and co-chair of the National Pandemic Preparation Committee echoed Dr Khal’s statements. He said all precautions must be taken to prevent infection such as keeping a safe social distance and wearing face masks when leaving the house. He said:
At MOPH, our surveillance team continues to track and trace all cases to identify potential new cases and gain an understanding of how the virus was transmitted.
He noted that despite the restrictions, they still see people ignoring the preventive measures, resulting in one or even multiple positive cases within families and contacts.
Director of Health Protection and Communicable Diseases Control said the procedures for tracking contacts with traditional methods, benefiting from EHTERAZ app, technical solutions contributed to determining infections early to provide them with health care, early treatment.
Source: The Peninsula Qatar, Qatar News Agency