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Posted On: 16 November 2015 06:05 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 01:54 pm

No increase in seasonal influenza cases this year: SCH

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There is no increase in the seasonal influenza cases this year, the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) clarified while encouraging Qatar residents to get vaccinated in order to reduce the load on health care facilities.

Dr Sheikh Mohamed al-Thani, director of Public Health, SCH, scotched the rumours on social media regarding 'more seasonal influenza cases and related deaths.'

"In fact the number of seasonal influenza cases this year is less than last year," he told a press conference. "We have made all the necessary arrangements to handle the situation and encourage people to get vaccinated against the seasonal influenza.”

Sheikh Mohamed pointed out that every year, Qatar used to record five to ten deaths due to seasonal influenza. "But this year no death has been reported on account of seasonal influenza so far. Previous years, most of the deaths happened due to low immunity and old age of 80 or 90 and above.”

"Several cases of flu have been reported this year but they all have been cured with the proper care and using very sophisticated equipment and mode of treatment. We have all the proper equipment and proper mode of treatment and there is no need for worries,” he reassured.

However, Sheikh Mohamed observed that the influenza cases this year started earlier than previous years. The cases in October and November are higher than the previous years. Generally, Qatar witnesses more cases in January and February.

According to the Public Health director, it is advisable for everyone to get vaccinated so that it will reduce the number of people going for treatment for the seasonal flu to various health facilities.

The official, however, pointed out that there will be no campaign for vaccination.“We will not run a campaign for vaccination as we do not want to create any panic among the public.The present situation is very much under control.The vaccine is safe and does not cause any major problems for most of the people,” he pointed out.

Sheikh Mohamed told that the vaccine is available at all the primary health care centres. “We have got enough stock of the vaccine and there is no need to hurry. All the people can be vaccinated. The vaccine is also available at the Hamad Medical Corporation ( HMC) outpatient department but we would prefer all the people to visit the primary health centres. We want everybody to get vaccinated.”

“All our schools are safe. We are working along with HMC, PHCC and SEC to make sure that all the schools are safe and clean. There is no need to close any school. We will make sure that schools have the right procedure in cleaning and sterilisation to lower the number of infections,” added Sheikh Mohamed.

In addition to the SCH officials, representatives from the HMC, Primary Health Care Corporation and the Supreme Education Council were also present at the media interaction.