Qatar has started to pass the peak stage of Covid-19 but the height of the pandemic may return if the society slackens in applying precautions.

Dr Abdullatif al-Khal, co-chair of the National Pandemic Preparedness Committee at the Ministry of Public Health and head of the Infectious Diseases Division at Hamad Medical Corporation, made the observation.

On whether the high recovery rates mean that Qatar has passed the peak stage, Dr al-Khal said: “Yes, Qatar has started to pass the peak stage. The rate of the virus’s spread has become less than one, which shows the Ministry of Public Health’s success in slowing the spread of the virus in the country and reducing the number of infections.

This is significantly more than what it would have been had these measures not been implemented, he said, stressing – at the same time – that the height of the pandemic may return if the society slackens in applying precautions.

He noted that the return of the virus to severe levels – or not – depends on the commitment of all members of the society to the “measures”. These will be “a part of the routine life of individuals and the daily lifestyle of all members of the society from now until the emergence of an effective and safe vaccine in the future,” he said, pointing out that the large number of recovered cases is a “very good sign and indicates that the rate of recovery is increasing”.

He said home healthcare services provided by the private sector will be allowed in the third phase of lifting the restrictions, which are scheduled to start in August, adding that these include medical care at home, nursing care, physical and speech therapy, etc.

As announced on Monday, Phase 1 of the four-phase lifting of restrictions will begin on June 15, followed by the second on July 1, the third on August 1 and the fourth and final phase on September 1.

In response to a question about whether the start of lifting restrictions means the decline of the virus and easing the measures that must be applied by individuals at this stage, Dr al-Khal said the initiation of lifting gradual restrictions means that there is a partial slowing down of the pandemic in Qatar, which is the pattern followed in all countries in the world.

Source : Gulf Times

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