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Qatar bracing up to beat COVID-19 with 18000 beds

HE Spokesperson of the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management Lolwah bint Rashid bin Mohammed Al Khater that work is currently ongoing to provide field medical facilities that provide basic medical and nursing services for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) that brings the total capacity of beds to 18,000 in a few weeks, this is done in the framework of taking proactive measures and planning for the future,

Her Excellency revealed, in a press conference held by the committee, that the Ministry of Public Health in cooperation with the armed forces established two temporary medical facilities that will provide basic medical attention for the virus to workers who have mild cases. Those two facilities have a total of 4645 beds. She added that the two facilities provide medical and nursing care around the clock. She noted that the facilities are comfortable, provide the appropriate nutrition, security, management of waste, in addition to internet service.

Her Excellency added that there were 25 new Coronavirus cases today, 16 of which were expat workers, nine coming abroad that included five Qataris coming from the United Kingdom. She said that the new cases were quarantined, with one of the Qatari cases in intensive care. Her Excellency also announced the recovery of four cases, one of which is a Qatari. The total number of people who recovered from the virus in Qatar is 41. Her Excellency stressed that the current period is a temporary one that the country will come out of stronger, emphasizing that cooperation was crucial to overcoming the virus. Her Excellency praised citizens and residents for the sense of responsibility they had as they committed to social distancing and all the precautionary measures against the Coronavirus.

On the other hand, Her Excellency said that the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management had announced in the third conference on March 19, the opening of volunteering and the response of the people of Qatar citizens and residents was fast.

Her Excellency revealed that the number of volunteers with the Ministry of Public Health, Qatar Charity, and Qatar Red Crescent reached approximately 35,000 volunteers, pointing out that the Ministry of Public Health is now working with the relevant authorities to distribute volunteers according to need and expertise.

Her Excellency stressed that the State of Qatar is keen to provide the highest levels of medical services for all without exception and free of charge.

During the press conference, Her Excellency reviewed the latest developments regarding the closed part of the industrial area, stressing that the Ministry of Public Health worked to establish three mobile units for examination, in addition to six ambulances that roam the area for random examination, in order to ensure that residents are free of the (COVID-19) virus, and transfer those suspected of being infected to health authorities to receive the necessary care.

Her Excellency added that food and medical supplies for the residents of the area continues in coordination with the concerned authorities, where nearly a thousand vehicles enter daily to transport essential materials while taking all necessary health precautions, praising in this context the cooperation of the residents of the area and their patience in these difficult times in addition to the cooperation of the relevant embassies to raise awareness and reassure their communities.

Her Excellency clarified that, based on the directives of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, which was announced in the first set of decisions, Qatar Central Bank issued a circular to banks and money exchanges operating in the country regarding the postponement of outstanding loan installments and interest for the affected sectors, for a period of six months from 16/3/2020.

The circular also stipulated that a repurchase window (Repo) be allocated, with a zero rate, used by banks to postpone loan installments, or grant new loans, as well as the fees imposed on points of sale (POS) and ATM withdrawal fees.

Her Excellency said that the loans mentioned in the circular did not include the personal loans.

Her Excellency also pointed out that Qatar Central Bank also issued a circular to banks and money exchanges operating in the country regarding the facilitation of electronic money transfers procedures abroad and the provision of electronic services to the workers category, and the announcement of all available electronic services by various means.

Her Excellency said that within the framework of the states plan to secure the flow of imports to the local market of food and consumer goods and supplies in sufficient quantities at reasonable prices and in high quality to meet the needs of citizens and residents, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry will sign contracts this week with 14 companies to raise the strategic stock of food and consumer goods.

In this regard, she stressed that the materials are sufficiently available, and stressed the necessity of not crowding into supermarkets and foodstuff stores to preserve safety.

Also, she clarified that the transportation unit at the Amiri Air Force Qatari supervised, in cooperation with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the operating of regular flights to the People's Republic of China to provide and meet all the needs of the local market of masks and medical sterilizers.

Her Excellency pointed out that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has urged citizens, children, husbands, and wives of Qataris abroad to register their data through the Foreign Ministry's application and website to communicate with them in emergencies.

Her Excellency stressed that the State of Qatar does not forget in this crisis its brothers and friends who are doing their part to combat the epidemic, as the State of Qatar has sent a number of medical shipments to friendly countries to combat this virus, including aid directed to the Palestinian brothers. She pointed out that the Ministry of Public Health is in constant contact with its counterparts in different countries and the WHO to update the latest developments and solutions that can be applied to limit the spread of the virus.

She affirmed that the State of Qatar will continue to provide assistance and support to all countries to combat this epidemic.

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