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Low COVID-19 death rate in Qatar due to widespread testing and efficient patient management: Official

Jun 16, 2020

The average length of hospital stay and the number of deaths due to COVID-19 is low in the country due to the efficient management of patients. 

They receive world-class care from experienced, highly-qualified medical, nursing, and allied healthcare professionals, said Dr Turki Al Ahbabi, a volunteer Intensive Care Unit (ICU) physician at Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital. 

“Qatar has been able to cope so well with the pandemic because of widespread testing and ample capacity to treat patients who require hospital-level care. Every patient is given care according to their condition and majority of patients have a good recovery period between 10 to 14 days,” he told The Peninsula.  

“Majority of ICU patients have recovered enough to be transferred to a non-critical care unit or released into home quarantine, or a designated quarantine facility,” he said.  

Dr Al Ahbabi is Bariatric Medicine Specialist, Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Department in Hamad Medical Corporation and now assigned as a volunteer physician at Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital to support ICU doctors amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  He is one of those several physicians who care for mild and moderate COVID-19 patients. 

“Unfortunately, most patients above the age of 55 years present with medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol. They are at the risk of developing complications with COVID-19. But because of the proper management of patients most of them recover fast,” said Dr Al Ahbabi. 

Severely ill COVID-19 patients require sophisticated treatment are cared by specialized ICU physicians. 

“Specialized and experienced ICU physicians care for the sickest patients,” said Dr Al Ahbabi. 

In March Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital was designated as a dedicated COVID-19 treatment center   converted it into a hospital able to provide the highest level of care to critically ill COVID-19 patients.

It is one of five COVID-19 treatment facilities, with The Cuban Hospital, the Communicable Disease Centre, Mesaieed Hospital, and the newly opened Ras Laffan Hospital also being dedicated COVID-19 treatment facilities, each able to provide ICU-level care.

At Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital, a team of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, respiratory therapists, clinical pharmacists, dietitians, and social workers, all specialists in caring for critically ill patients. 

“The whole health system is working together to overcome the situation and to ensure optimal care for all patients, especially the seriously ill,” said Al Ahbabi.

He also stressed that, though numbers of deaths are less than in other regions of the world and number of COVID-19 cases have started to decline, the public must remember this is a very serious virus which can be fatal. People should continue to adhere to all infection prevention measures directed by the Ministry of Public Health, he said.