A press conference was held by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) tonight to discuss the latest news, developments and statistics of Coronavirus (Covid-19) in Qatar. Co-chair of the National Epidemic Preparation Committee Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal, and Dr. Hamad Al Romaihi, Director of Health Protection and Communicable Disease Control at the Public Health Department and the co-chair of the National Pandemic Preparation Committee chaired the press conference.
The following updates were announced:
COVID-19 Updates and Statistics
The measures put in place have succeeded in lowering the number of new daily cases over the past two months.
At the peak of the virus in Qatar, we saw more than 2,000 new daily cases over the past two months.
This is a considerable achievement but the evidence from countries around the world shows that it is very difficult to completely eradicate the virus - we expect a low, but consistent, number of cases to be identified each day for many months.
It is clear that the world will be living with COVID-19 for some time to come.
Although we are lifting restrictions across the country and many aspects of our daily lives are returning to some sort of normal, we must not become complacent.
A second wave of COVID-19 is a very real threat - as several other countries around the world are experiencing.
We are mid-way through Phase-3 of the lifting of the restrictions, but progression to Phase-4 relies on continued improvements in the number of daily cases and unless we adhere to all preventive measures, there is a real risk of returning to earlier phases.
Despite the total number of cases declining considerably in recent weeks and months, there has been a worrying trend of increasing cases within the Qatari national and expat professionals population groups.
This is due to a minority of people within these population groups who continue to ignore preventive advice, putting themselves and those around them at risk.
We have seen repeated examples during both Eid holidays and throughout Ramadan of the virus spreading within families due to one or two individuals not adhering to social and physical distancing guidelines.
This is of particular concern as it is the elderly and those with chronic diseases who are most at risk of serious complications from COVID-19, Qatari national and expat professional population makes up a large portion of these vulnerable people.
The State of Qatar affirms its commitment to support the work of the United Nations and the importance of international cooperation to confront the coronavirus pandemic, despite the unilateral measures it is facing that impede international cooperation and coordination under the umbrella of international and regional organizations.
The infection is equal between males and females and the kids are getting infected. The total number of deaths is at 190 in Qatar.
A large percentage of the cases during the past ten days are under the age of 15 years and another large portion of them are between 15-20 years old, and this indicates that young people are the most affected cases due to social mixing.
The rate of positive cases for every hundred cases reached 35% during the peak and decreased at the beginning of the month to 5% before increasing slightly.
The increase in coronavirus infections among citizens and residents after the Eid Al-Adha holiday is greater than the increase that occurred after Eid Al-Fitr.
New infections in Qatar increased after a period of decline due to the Eid Al-Adha holiday and the failure of some to take preventive measures during family visits and social gatherings during which they were not obligated to wear a mask and maintain a safe distance.
If the rate of coronavirus infection increases, it may lead to a delay in the transition to the fourth stage of the gradual lifting of the restrictions plan.
Public Gatherings & Family Meetings
The public must refrain from going to public gatherings and adhere to the procedures of wearing masks.
Family meetings should not exceed 10 people. Most of the new cases were among members of the same family and their source was family meetings or social events in violation of the directives.
The ministry advises avoiding unnecessary travel during the current period, due to the spread of the virus in many countries.
Creating a safe zone in the house for elderly relatives is an important action you can do. - One designated area of the house for these at-risk people. - Anyone who enters this zone must wash their hands, wear a mask and maintain physical distancing. - Thoroughly sanitise Safe Zone and keep as clean as possible. - Keep the number of people who visit and interact with elderly relatives and those with chronic conditions to a minimum. - This small group of people should follow preventive advice at all times to minimise their risk of contracting the virus and passing it on the vulnerable family members. - At the first sign of any symptom, these people should isolate themselves and get a test.
The ministry recommends that everyone with chronic diseases maintain a safe environment, wear a mask, and leave a safe distance, especially in closed places and workplaces.
Schools & Students
School students are required to wear masks in the classroom.
School and university students must maintain social distancing, and not mix with each other.