A meeting and Questions and Answers (Q&A) session about the coronavirus (COVID-19) was held at the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) a short while ago to discuss all the latest developments on the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the mechanisms of joint coordination among all parties and what precautionary measures were being taken by Qatar to prevent the transmission of infection by travellers coming to Qatar and what is being done to avoid this disease from penetrating our borders.
The Coronavirus 2019 (officially named as “COVID-19”)is a respiratory illness affecting people in China and several other countries around the world. Though no cases of the disease have been reported in Qatar, the MoPH answered questions related to the quarantine of people travelling from infected countries, coronavirus (COVID-190 mortality rate, availability of masks in Qatar, and more. Read to know more.
A. Medical teams all over Qatar have been prepared and trained to screen and test all passengers from China, Iran and South Korea. There are teams at the Hamad International Airport and the Doha Port to examine all travellers coming to Qatar with the help of thermal cameras for examining the body temperature. In case, an individual's body temperature is high, they may be transferred to the Port's clinic to assess their cases especially if they are coming from the countries where the disease is spreading. If an individual has symptoms of the coronvirus (COVID-19), they will be transfered directly by the ambulance team to Hamad Medical Corporation's Communicable Disease Centre for evaluation and then quarantined.
A. The quarantine period is two weeks (14 days).
A. The place where an individual is quarantined is not a normal place. It’s a special place where they do all the medical tests for the coronavirus (COVID-19), and it’s a hotel where people are being quarantined while they are screened and tested. Once an individual is treated and given the all-clear from the medical experts, the individual will receive a certification that they are 100% OK and can leave the quarantined area.
A. No, it is absolutely free of cost. All expenses will be paid for (food, wi-fi, medical tests, room cost, etc).
A. Any individual that is put under quarantine is eligible for two weeks off work and it will be paid leave. The company is obligated to pay for this quarantined time off. It is mandatory.
A. Close family and relatives can visit the individual who is quarantined, but not too frequently. Less contact is better.
A. The mortality rate for the coronavirus (COVID-19) is much less than that of SARS or MERS. In fact, 97% of individuals who contracted the coronavirus (COVID-19) all over the world have been cured. It is important to have a good immune system to be able to fight this disease. Most of the people who have, so far, died from this disease have been over the age of 60, and had pre-exising heart conditions or a weak immune system.
A. Some potential vaccines have been created that are being tested and after a few weeks of trials, a clearer picture will emerge on whether these vaccines can help cure the disease. Till then, scientists and researchers all over the world are trying their best to come up with a vaccine that will bring this pandemic under control and stop it from spreading all over the world.
For more information on how to protect yourself from the coronavirus (COVID-19), watch the following video: https://www.iloveqatar.net/videos/general/protect-yourself-from-viral-infection-in-qatar-by-following-these-easy-tips
A. China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Iran and Italy. Avoid other travel as much as possible.
A. If an individual’s company is forcing them to travel abroad for work, show the company the hospital’s or the Qatari government’s advisory on avoiding travel or a letter from the hospital indicating that travel is not advised at this time, and no one should be travelling, especially to the country’s mentioned above.
A. The MoPH gives its assurance that Qatar has enough masks, and even the reserves are enough for, at least, one year. The Ministry has urged the people in Qatar not to panic.
A. In regards to the masks and their usability, these masks are mandatory for the medical team and staff at hospitals to protect them from all kinds of germs and viruses. It is also recommended that people coming from the countries mentioned above should use masks to protect themselves and their families. Wearing masks in public is not recommended here in Qatar. If they are not used properly, they can have diverse effects, especially if an individual has dirty hands and touches the mask.
It’s important to keep in mind here that the MoPH Qatar has affirmed that there are NO cases of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) registered here in Qatar and confirmed that it is continuously monitoring the epidemiological situation of the new coronavirus that is spreading from China where it originated a few months ago to other countries, including Iran, Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE and Oman and is working closely with all local entities, the World Health Organisation and other international bodies to monitor the situation and provide up-to-date guidance on the to the citizens and residents of Qatar.
The Ministry stressed that it is closely following the developments of the epidemic around the clock, and recommended the necessity of maintaining the basic preventive measures by community members, and postponing traveling to China, South Korea, Iran, Singapore, Japan and Italy.
Given the rapidly changing situation, it is important that the public refer regularly to official government communications on the matter. All official guidance and communications will be issued by the Ministry of Public Health and made available on their website. It is also very important that individuals refer to official information and to not rely on or distribute unconfirmed or unofficial information.
The Ministry of Public Health provides regular updates on the coronavirus (COVID-19) on its website in multiple languages and via its social media channels. There is a 24/7 coronavirus hotline for information and updates: +974 66740948 or +974 66740951.
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