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Posted On: 1 July 2020 09:00 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 09:11 am

Qatar passes the peak stage, COVID-19 still a threat to the health and safety of society: Health Minister

Khadiza Begum
Khadiza Begum
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H.E. Minister of Public Health Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari said that the State of Qatar has passed the peak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the number of new confirmed cases continues to fall, stressing that COVID-19 is still very much a threat to the health of the population.

H.E. Dr. Al Kuwari called on everyone follow the preventative measures of physical distancing, and seek medical attention immediately at the first sign of symptoms. "If you have members of your family that are high risk, protect them by being extra vigilant," HE the Minister of Public Health added.

This came as HE the Minister of Public Health visited Wednesday Ras Laffan Hospital and met with the last recovered COVID-19 patients being discharged from that hospital.

Ras Laffan was formally opened in April and has provided high-quality care to COVID-19 patients with moderate to severe symptoms. With the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Qatar continuing to decline there is now less demand for hospital beds. As a result, Ras Laffan Hospital will no longer admit COVID-19 patients and the facility will be utilized for other healthcare needs.

"To date, more than 80,000 patients have successfully recovered from COVID-19 in Qatar - each of them having received the expert support they need in a hospital or medical isolation facility. It is a testament to the high-quality medical care of the team at Ras Laffan and our other COVID-19 hospitals that Qatar has one of the lowest COVID-19 mortality rates in the world. I would like to congratulate everyone involved in the opening and operation of Ras Laffan Hospital over the past three months for their commitment and dedication," said HE Dr. Al Kuwari.

"I am pleased to see this state-of-the-art new hospital able to now focus on medical care for the general population in the north of Qatar. I hope that with the help of everyone in the community in following the preventative measures we will be able to return all seven COVID-19 dedicated hospitals to normal patient care," Her Excellency added.

Chairman of System Wide Incident Command Committee (SWICC) for COVID-19 Dr. Saad Al Kaabi explained the key priorities set out by the SWICC at the start of the pandemic.

"Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in Qatar, we have worked hard as a healthcare system to ensure all patients with COVID-19 can quickly access the care they need. Our strategy was to designate seven hospitals to care for COVID-19 patients. Four of the hospitals, including Ras Laffan, were previously not in operation and were rapidly opened to significantly boost our capacity from 2,250 beds to a potential maximum 3,500 hospital beds," said Dr. Al Kaabi.

"One of the key factors in achieving Qatar's low COVID-19 mortality rate has been our ability to admit patients with the most severe symptoms to intensive care facilities as soon as their conditions determine the need. Our COVID-19 plan delivered significant expansion of our intensive care capacity - to more than 700 beds - and at the peak of the virus, we had more than 300 patients receiving treatment in intensive care units. Being able to provide these patients with intensive care support without delay can be the difference between life and death," added Dr. Al Kaabi.

Clinical Lead for Ras Laffan Hospital Dr. Khaled Al Jalham said he was proud of the team at Ras Laffan for the role they played in caring for patients in Qatar with COVID-19.

He praised the team at Ras Laffan Hospital for the role they have played in caring for more than 4,000 patients with COVID-19 since opening in April.

"In just two weeks before the opening, we transformed the hospital from an empty facility into a high-advanced hospital with more than 760 operational hospital beds. As Ras Laffan comes to the end of its role as a care facility for COVID-19 patients, we look forward to the next chapter which will see the hospital further boosting healthcare delivery in the north of Qatar," said Dr. Al Jalham.

(Source: Qatar News Agency - QNA)