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Fourth COVID-19 drive-through swabbing hub to come up in Qatar soon: Minister
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Fourth COVID-19 drive-through swabbing hub to come up in Qatar soon: Minister

Tribune News Network
Doha
Qatar will soon set up a fourth COVID-19 drive-through swabbing centre for screening people for the infection, Minister of Public Health HE Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari has said.
Currently, three swabbing centres are serving the public in Qatar —  at Al Waab, Al Thumama, and Leabaib Health Centres of the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC).
“The drive-through testing service runs at three permanent sites and fourth one is being planned,” the ministry said as she inspected the Al Waab Health Centre recently.
“The primary health centre, through a booking system, invites high-risk population to screen for COVID-19. We know that early diagnosis and timely management makes a big difference in the health outcomes. Our unique preventative approach to seek out our patients, test them and treat them early is one of the success factors of Qatar which has contributes to Qatar’s low mortality rate,” she added.
Dr Kuwari has expressed her appreciation for PHCC’s proactive role in stemming the spread of coronavirus in Qatar. 
The swift establishment of drive-through swabbing hubs helped manage the outbreak, she added.
On May 31, as part of the Ministry of Public Health’s (MoPH) efforts to control the COVID-19 pandemic, PHCC initiated three dedicated ‘Drive Through’ swabbing hubs at the Al Waab, Al Thumama, and Leabaib Health Centres, to assist with early detection. 
On Tuesday, July 14, during a visit to the Al Waab Health Centre, HE Dr Al Kuwari received an overview from PHCC Managing Director Dr Mariam Ali Abdulmalik of the role of the ‘Drive Through’ swabbing hubs and their achievements.
The ‘Drive Through’ initiative required significant logistical preparations and capacity expansion, ranging from the availability of trained personnel to take accurate swabbing to the time required to delivering swabs to a laboratory for further analysis. To date, more than 14,236 appointments have been made, with 10,679 attendances and swabbing performed.
With a focus on vulnerable members of the community, the drive through testing focuses on ensuring the elderly and those with chronic conditions are prioritized. 
Her Excellency congratulated Primary Health Care Corporation for their hard work, she commented.
Dr Abdulmalik, managing director at PHCC Corporation, said: "Operating the swabbing hubs on immediate notice has been a great accomplishment for PHCC, supporting the country increase daily testing capacity and proven to be an effective measure in suppressing the spread of the virus. The tireless work and dedication of the PHCC staff through this period, has helped early detection and the resultant containment of COVID-19. Positive diagnosis of patients in their early stages, especially those at higher risk, has helped treat them better, as well as ensuring the community is safer."
The ‘Drive Through’ swabbing hubs are accessible by invitation only. Patients will be contacted by telephone and receive an SMS appointment confirmation from PHCC with a date, time, slot, and location. They will be required to show their QID to verify their invitation on arrival.
Once swabbed, patients will receive results from MoPH by phone call if positive and by SMS if negative.

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