Qatar maintained low mortality rate by detecting COVID-19 cases early: Minister

Jul 11, 2020

The Minister of Public Health, Her Excellency Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, today attended a meeting of the COVID-19 Health Tactical Command Team. Her Excellency was briefed by the team on the latest updates and plans to tackle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Qatar. 

The health tactical command team formed back in April led by Dr. Mariam Abdul Malik, managing director at PHCC is made up of key stakeholders, with both clinical and operational leads from MOPH, PHCC, and HMC 

The team was set up to lead the strategic planning and implementation of quarantine facilities in Qatar, including capacity planning and management, and developing policies and procedures relating to quarantine practices, whilst ensuring alignment with sector-wide services. 

The team is also responsible for planning and implementing community testing in Qatar. Successfully expanding accessibility to testing via Test and Hold health centers, drive-through facilities, and more recently home healthcare. Adapting policy and procedures to meet the emerging needs of the service. 

The Minister of Public Health said: “Qatar's strategy to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic relies heavily on community testing, tracing and quarantining in the effort to reduce the spread of the infection in our community. Early identification of cases allows for earlier treatment which may prevent complications. This has helped Qatar maintain one of the lowest COVID-19 mortality rates in the world.” 

“As we battle against Covid-19, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of this team that are driven by the commitment to ensure the health and wellbeing of the people of Qatar.”  

Her Excellency further added: "During this crisis, adapting policy and procedures to meet the emerging needs of our population has been a strength of our country and our healthcare system. This is especially true in primary care which offers now numerous home visits, virtual consultation, and drive through testing options to support safe access to care while physical distancing."

"We invite our high-risk populations and their families please use our first-class virtual consultations, our home visits and our drive through testing facilities. Go out to do your essential business only and keep your physical distancing and masks at all times. And don’t forget to wash your hands regularly."

During the meeting, the team provided an overview of progress made thus far, lessons learned, and plans moving forward. Her Excellency was briefed on key areas, the expansion of testing facilities to protect those most vulnerable in the community. with over 210,000 patients been swabbed to date, 56% of the national total, the team Successfully expanded accessibility to testing via Test and Hold health centers, drive-through facilities and more recently home healthcare. To date 230, 833 virtual consultations have been delivered by the team. 

The team also provided an overview of the development of quarantine facilities which have helped to significantly curb the spread of COVD-19, especially amongst the Labor community. The facilities have housed 17,699 guests in quarantine accommodation to date, with multi-disciplined teams coordinating the transportation, accommodation, and screening of patients. 

Dr. Mariam Abdul Malik, managing director of PHCC said “On behalf of the team, I would like to thank Her Excellency Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari for her leadership and continued support in ensuring the work we deliver is at the highest standard.  

“In the past few months we have had to learn and develop faster than ever before, I am confident that we will continue to tackle challenges at hand with the same conviction and commitment to quality as we have done to date. We are proud of the progress we have made, looking forward there are no grounds for complacency, we will continue to work closely with our communities in the battle against COVD-19.”