Qatar Health Official calls for full lockdown as COVID-19 cases rise
Ahmed al-Mohammed of the Hamad Medical Corporation says a return to full lockdown is the best way to stem the spread of the virus.
A Qatari health official has called for a full lockdown in the country to stem the spread of the coronavirus as the country continues to report an increasing number of infections on a daily basis, according Al Jazeera has reported.
"A full lockdown, such as what we had last summer where the roads were empty and people worked from home, is the best way to stem the spread of the virus," the website quoted Ahmed al-Mohammed, the acting chairman of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) Intensive Care Units, as having told Qatar TV.
On Tuesday, the country reported 720 new cases and three deaths with daily totals steadily rising in recent weeks. Since the start of the pandemic, Qatar has reported more than 1.7 million positive cases, including 289 deaths.
“As long as people continue to interact with one another, attend workplaces and gather at events, the virus will continue to spread. We did not witness such numbers at the peak of the first wave."
According to him, Qatar was witnessing a peak in the number of cases since the first wave, including a reportedly large number of infections among children under the age of 14.
“Last February, there were 53 ICU cases. Now there are more than 300 cases. This is a difficult comparison,” Dr Ahmed Al Mohammed, the acting head of the ICU department at the Hamad Medical Foundation, said. “Even at the peak of the first wave [of the pandemic], figures were not that high,” he told Qatar television.
He also cited an increase among children testing positive for COVID-19, but did not give specific figures.
He blamed lack of complying with health precautions for the alarming rates. “The situation is open. Stricter precautions must be taken, including a total lockdown for two or three weeks. This will make a big difference in the infection numbers,” he added.
“Total lockdown is the best way to stop the spread of the virus. As long as people get together, attend events and make social visits, the virus will spread at a quicker pace, especially that the British strain is quickly transmissible,” Dr Al Mohammed said.