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Posted On: 18 August 2020 10:00 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 09:12 am

Survey shows presence of COVID-19 virus not widespread in Qatar

Vrinda Abilash
Vrinda Abilash
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“The COVID-19 virus is not widespread in all parts of Qatar, but is only seen in certain pockets“, Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Hamad Al Thani, Director of the Public Health Department at the Ministry of Public Health said.

“The Ministry of Public Health has conducted a study to find the ability of the virus to remain suspended in the air. It was found that the virus may be present in the air, but in very small proportions. It is unlikely to cause infection and we reassure people on that,” he told Qatar TV.

“We found the virus on different surfaces, but it was not clear to us conclusively if it was contagious or not. There are companies that say they have sterilised all surfaces. However, when we took samples, we found the virus or its remains. So, our role is to recommend better sterilisation, especially in health and educational facilities, the airport and crowded places,” Dr. Al Thani added.

Dr. Al Thani also revealed to the public, the presence of the virus in the sewage system.

“We found the virus in the sewage system categorically and it’s a very important indicator. If the virus load is very high in a particular school, area or hotel, then this gives us an indication that the virus is spreading in these places significantly. This will help us in focusing the examination in certain areas, especially since the cost of examining sewage samples is cheaper than the costs of a clinical examination.”

“We must maintain social distance, wear a mask, avoid going to crowded places, and wash hands regularly,” he added. “I stress here the need not to go to large parties or attend large gatherings, if we commit to a maximum of 10 people, the matter will be under control,” he said.

“If you attend a gathering of 50 or 100 people and it turns out that one of them is infected, then the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) will be under great pressure as it will have to examine all the attendees, their families and their contacts,” he added.

“The most dangerous thing we have found that if someone caught the infection from his workplace or from the supermarket, he would transmit the disease to 60% of his family members,” he said.

With respect to vaccination, he said the State of Qatar has contacted many agencies to reserve quantities of vaccines as soon as they are available and to make sure of their effectiveness.

“We are optimistic that this time, due to collective work and international effort, the coronavirus vaccine will be produced within the next two months,” he said.

Dr. Al Thani said that when these vaccines arrive in the country, they will be given to the most vulnerable people first. He also added that the number of daily coronavirus cases in Qatar has decreased from 2,000 cases per day to less than 300 cases per day.

Apart from this, he also added that the seasonal influenza vaccinations have been reserved, and it will be available in all health centres in Qatar. He also urged the people to take these vaccinations, stressing on their availability for free before the end of October, this year.

Source: Qatar TV
Cover image source: Qatar TV