A press conference was held on 10 March 2021 by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) to announce the latest developments related to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) in the State of Qatar. Here are the important updates:
Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal, Chair of the National Health Strategic Group on COVID-19 and Head of Infectious Diseases at Hamad Medical Corporation said, “Since the introduction of restrictions at the start of February the combined efforts of the government and the community have succeeded in slowing the rate of increase for new COVID-19 cases in Qatar. However, we continue to see a significant number of new cases each day with many requiring admissions to hospitals to manage their symptoms and even admissions into ICU for life-saving treatment.“
Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal mentioned that the new variant present in Qatar is much more contagious and spreads more easily between people.
He added that the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines being used in Qatar's vaccination program are effective against the new variants. More than 380,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered since the start of the COVID-19 vaccination program with more than 15,000 a day at present and no serious effects have been reported.
“We continue to monitor the risk of infection within schools and are not seeing any spikes in infection caused by transmission within schools. With government schools beginning their post-exam break it is important that parents and children continue to follow the preventive measures throughout the break. The pace of the vaccination program means there is finally hope of a gradual return to normal for us in Qatar and around the world. But this will not happen in the next few weeks or months. COVID-19 will continue to be a threat to our health for the majority of 2021 and until all eligible members of our population have been vaccinated we must continue to follow all preventive measures.“, Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal said.
Dr. Ahmed Mohammed, Acting Chairman Of HMC's Intensive Care Units said “Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in the first part of this year, there is an increase in both hospital admissions and ICU admissions in recent weeks. Every day we are seeing more people admitted to hospital and ICU requiring life-saving treatment. Since 1 February, we have seen around a 110% increase in people receiving care in ICU. This is incredibly concerning as many of these people are severely sick and require intensive treatment and advanced respiratory support.“
"Despite the large increase in hospital and ICU admissions, the healthcare sector is able to care for each and every one of these patients. At the start of the pandemic last year we had a plan to expand significantly expand bed capacity across our hospital system to meet increased demand due to COVID-19. To meet the increased demand due to the recent rise in cases, we have once again developed a capacity expansion plan to ensure we have enough beds for people needing care". Dr. Ahmed Mohammed said.
Dr. Ahmed said that it is very important that people seek help early, as soon as they notice the signs and symptoms, as the earlier treatment can be given the better the chances of a full recovery.
The main COVID-19 symptoms are:
1. A high temperature (fever)
2. A new, continuous cough
3. A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
He added that anyone experiencing these signs should get a COVID-19 test as soon as possible.
Source: Press conference by MOPH
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