COVID-19: Qatar recently witnessed increase in death cases
Qatar is witnessing a new wave of coronavirus infection, said Dr Abdullatif al-Khal, chair of the National Health Strategic Group on Covid-19 and head of Infectious Diseases at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).
Addressing a press conference being held in Doha on Wednesday, he said the number of COVID-19 cases is not decreasing, despite the measures currently in place. Seven people died due to COVID-19 in the past seven days, Dr Khal noted.
"We are now seeing over 500 new cases every day and it is likely this number to increase over the next 10 to 14 days."
He attributed the spike in new infections to new strains, family visits and failure to follow precautionary measures.
Recently, cases of infection with the South African strains have been recorded, he said.
“The new strain does not cause different symptoms, but it is more likely to spread among individuals, and some evidence indicates that the new strain may cause severe disease.”
Currently, Qatar has more than 13,500 active cases of coronavirus and more than 1,200 people are under treatment for the infection.
On the vaccination front, more than 650,000 doses have been administered to date, with nearly 20,000 doses being given to people every day.
Acting Head of the Intensive Care Department at the Hamad Medical Corporation and Acting Medical Director for Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital Dr Ahmed Al Muhammad said the UK variant of the virus, as well as lack of commitment to precautionary measures by some members of the public, contributed to the surge in new cases in Qatar.
However, he warned that the new strains of virus detected in Qatar might further increase the number of daily infections.
“We are in the midst of the second wave and the new strain is more severe and this requires cooperation, solidarity and commitment to precautionary measures,” he added.
There is an increase in the number of critical cases and cases that require admission to hospital as a result of infection with the new strains, he said.
We are now seeing over 500 new cases every day and it is likely this number to increase over the next 10 to 14 days, Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal, Chairman of the National Pandemic Preparedness Committee, said at the press conference held today to explain the developments regarding coronavirus in Qatar.
In the past two weeks alone, Qatar saw an 82 percent jump in COVID-19 patients requiring intensive care treatment, said Dr Ahmed Al Muhammad, the Acting Head of the Intensive Care Department at the Hamad Medical Corporation
Nearly 40 percent of the COVID-19 cases brought in to the ICUs during the current wave are aged below 50 years, especially in their 30s and 40s, he said.
Addressing a press conference in Doha on Wednesday, Dr Muhammed, who is also the acting medical director for Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital, said, "We have added a specialised surgery centre to the coronavirus treatment centres. An entire floor of the centre will be converted into an intensive care unit."
There is 82% increase in people in ICUS with COVID-19 in Qatar, Dr Ahmed al-Mohamed, Acting Chairman of HMC's Intensive Care Units said at a press conference held to explain the current Covid-19 situation.
“One of the characteristics of the strain coming from the United Kingdom is that patients experience more severe complications than before and stay for longer periods in the hospital,” he explained.
“We are in the midst of the second wave of Coronavirus and the new strain is more severe and this requires cooperation, solidarity and commitment to precautionary measures,” Dr Al Mohamed added.
Qatar will soon administer around 200,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses per week, which means over 28,500 doses per day, a senior health official has said.
“Until now, more than 650,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna vaccines have been given. More than 200,000 people had so far received two vaccine doses. The vaccination is now taking place at an accelerated pace,” Dr Abdullatif Al Khal, Chair of the National Health Strategic Group on COVID-19 and head of Infectious Diseases at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).
“We expect soon more than 200,000 doses will be given per week,” he said.
Dr Al Khal said, “We have noticed a decrease in infections among vaccinated people compared to people who have not yet received vaccination. This observation is similar to what is in other countries.”
He said the effectiveness of vaccine has exceeded 90 percent so far.
“In order to control the virus and reduce the daily cases significantly, we need the population to take the vaccine. It is known that in order to control viruses that transmit through the respiratory system, you need to vaccinate at least 60 percent of the population,” he added.