While Qatar’s healthcare system is among the best in the world, it is always good to be informed, particularly about the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Fortunately, the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) has confirmed that there are no confirmed cases of the virus in Qatar.
During a press conference held on 2nd February 2020, the ministry stated that the 25 suspected cases of 2019-nCoV in Qatar are all negative. Latest developments, preventive measures, and other related concerns were also discussed.
MOPH Confirms Zero Cases of 2019-nCov in Qatar
Based on an MOPH press release, the conference was led by: Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Bin Hamad Al Thani, Director of Public Health Department at MOPH; Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal, Co-Chair of National Pandemic Preparedness Committee at MOPH and Chair of Communicable Diseases Department at HMC; Dr. Hamad Eid Al Romaihi, Co-Chair for the National Pandemic Preparedness Committee and Director of Health Protection and Communicable Diseases at MOPH; and Dr. Khalid Al Awad, Director of Health Protection at the Preventive Health at PHCC.
The speakers stated that MOPH continues to monitor the 2019-nCoV, which has been declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a global health emergency. They also discussed the preventive measures established to address the virus.
Moreover, the speakers clarified that the risk of getting infected with 2019-nCoV appears to be low for those who haven’t traveled to China within the last 14 days. Nonetheless, there is a possibility for positive cases in the future, as the virus continues to spread to different countries.
Fortunately, the MOPH’s National Pandemic Preparedness Committee has intensified precautionary measures, including the following:
- Thermal screening at Hamad International Airport since 24th January 2020 for passengers traveling from Doha to China;
- Ensuring that laboratories in Qatar are equipped and ready to test suspected cases for 2019-nCov within 24 to 48 hours;
- Surveillance visits of Health Protection and Communicable Disease Control teams to hospitals and Intensive Care Units (ICU) to ensure that no suspected cases are missed;
- Tracing of people who recently returned to China and monitoring them for any flu-like symptoms; and
- Providing information posters in public and private hospitals, as well as launching a dedicated website and hotline for those who would like to know more about 2019-nCov.
In addition, the National Pandemic Preparedness Committee has been meeting regularly to discuss the matter and determine necessary actions. The committee is composed of representatives from MOPH, Hamad Medical Corporation, Primary Health Care Corporation, Hamad International Airport, and Medical Services of Qatar Airways.
The ministry will also continue to provide updates regarding 2019-nCov through various media and channels. Nonetheless, it also advises the public to avoid unnecessary trips to China for the time being.
Novel Coronavirus Website Launched
As cited earlier, MOPH, in collaboration with Hamad Medical Corporation and Primary Health Care Corporation, has launched a website to provide the residents of Qatar with trusted information related to 2019-nCoV.
The website is available in Arabic, English, Chinese, French, Hindi, and Malayalam so that as many people as possible can understand the information. The ministry also calls upon everyone to refer to official sources only regarding 2019-nCov and related health issues.
To learn more about the novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV, citizens and residents of Qatar are urged to visit https://www.moph.gov.qa/english/Pages/Coronavirus2019.aspx or call the following hotlines: 66740948 / 66740951.
Indeed, the sudden emergence of 2019-nCoV causes grave concern among the people of Qatar and everywhere in the world. At times like these, here are some important telephone numbers in Qatar that you can call in case of a health emergency, calamity, fire, and other situations.