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Posted On: 30 June 2020 10:02 am

PHCC plans research study on societal immunity against COVID-19

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Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) announces that it will conduct a research study on societal immunity against coronavirus (COVID-19) in Qatar.

The PHCC said that the study comes within the framework of knowing the extent of the disease among the population of Qatar through people registered in the PHCC health centres.

Dr. Hamda Qotba, Director of Research at the PHCC, said that the sample chosen for the research study will be random and voluntary for anyone registered in the PHCC and can provide the information required to understand the spread of the coronavirus.

She explained that in the event that the test was positive for the smear taken from those included in the study, then the person concerned will be contacted with the same procedures that are taken with persons infected with coronavirus and given instructions that he must take, whether it is with domestic isolation or in one of the isolation places designated by the State.

As for the results of the blood analysis, the participants will be contacted with the research study to inform them about whether they have immunity or not, the extent of their illness and how well they recover from it, or they may not have been infected with it at all.

For his part, Dr. Mohamed Sayed, a public health research consultant at the Department of Clinical Research at the PHCC, said that the aim of the study is to know the people who are infected with the coronavirus and do not show symptoms, but they are present in the community without knowing that they are infected and therefore there is the possibility of transmitting the virus to others.

He noted that the detection of the virus will be through conducting the two tests together, through a nose and mouth swab, in addition to a blood test that will enable people to know who have contracted the disease and who now have immunity from it.

The PHCC indicated that it took all precautionary measures, so that there is general sterilisation of the place of test and the exchange of masks and gloves after examining each participant taking into account the absence of more than one person in the test room that is also subject to sterilisation for a full hour after completing the examination of six participants. Consequently, with the application of isolation and privacy laws in the place of entry, exit and sitting for arrivals for the purpose of research and separation from the centres patients .

The PHCC also noted that people who are quarantined in homes or hospitals will not participate in the research study as a random sample, while those who have previously been allowed to participate in other research questionnaires or studies or who previously examined and the result appeared negative several days ago.

Dr. Hamda Qotba said that the information collected for the purpose of the study will be confidential and will be stored electronically and available to researchers only, as it will be called upon the centre near the participant according to his choice to obtain some information by filling out the special questionnaire to know the age, nationality and residential area and the extent of his infection with the coronavirus and the occurrence of any other symptoms.

The research study regarding examining people in the morning and evening periods will be from Sunday to Thursday for a period of three weeks, and the days of the examination may be extended according to the response of the participants.

The examination for this study will be in Qatar University Health Centre, Al Wajba Health Centre, and Al Wakrah Health Centre.

Source: QNA