In a press conference held this evening by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), Dr. Abdullatif Mohamed Al Khal who is the Chair of the National Strategic Group on COVID-19 and Head of the Infectious Diseases Division at the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and Dr. Enas Al Kuwari, Chair of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at HMC talked about the latest developments with regards to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Qatar and the latest testing procedures for the virus.
1. PCR molecular test: the gold standard test using a swab of the back of the mouth and the top of the nose to determines if someone is COVID-19 positive.
2. Serological test: using a finger prick this test delivers rapid results and confirmes if someone has been exposed to COVID-19 previously, but does not determine if they are COVID-19 positive
1. Healthcare related testing: provided for people who come to a healthcare setting and display COVID-19 symptoms
2. Public health testing: 1) Contact tracing-this is where anyone who has had contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive is tested 2)Random sampling - where a sample population area is chosen and people randomly tested. This provides a better understanding of how widespread the virus is.
3. People returning from abroad. This has helped successfully identify people coming into the country who are COVID-19 positive.
HMC's laboratory has significantly increased the number of tests it is able to do each day as well as reducing the time it takes to process test results
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