The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) this week held a press conference to confirm that the UK strain of COVID-19 is now in Qatar, causing a significant increase in both hospital admissions and ICU admissions these recent weeks. 

Acting Chairman of the Intensive Care Units at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) Dr Ahmed Mohammed said that as of 1 February, they have seen a 110% increase in people receiving care in ICU. This is incredibly concerning as many of these patients are really sick and require intensive treatment and advance respiratory support.

MOPH Tweet 10 March

In a Tweet released by MoPH after the press conference this Wednesday, 10 March, they warned that the new variant is more contagious and spreads more easily between people than the existing strain. The strain is also associated with increased severity.

The good news is that the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines being used in the country’s vaccination programme are effective against the new variants.

COVID-19 National Vaccination Program

More than 380,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered since the country started the COVID-19 National Vaccination Program. No serious side effects have been reported.

MoPH also said that the pace of the vaccination programme means that there is hope for a gradual return to normal in Qatar, but not in the next few weeks or months. COVID-19 will continue to be a health threat this year, and until all eligible members of the population have been vaccinated, everyone must continue to follow the preventive measures set by the state.

Anyone experiencing signs and symptoms of COVID-19 should seek help immediately as earlier treatment gives the patient better chances of full recovery.

COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • High temperature (fever)
  • Continuous coughing
  • Loss or change to sense of smell and taste

For more COVID-19 updates, visit the MoPH website

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