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‘Qatar has ample facilities, personnel to care for critical COVID-19 cases’

‘Qatar has ample 
facilities, personnel 
to care for critical  COVID-19 cases’

Qatar has sufficient medical facilities and personnel to provide healthcare for the current number of people infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) who need critical medical care and advanced respiratory treatment, according to a top health sector official.
Dr Ahmed al Muhammad, Acting Head of the Intensive Care Department at the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), and Acting Medical Director for Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital, said the country’s healthcare system is ready to provide care for a high number of cases of infection.
He said at the end of last month, HMC designated the Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital (HMGH) as a facility for treating patients with coronavirus due to its advanced capabilities in terms of providing high-quality care for those infected with the virus and are in critical condition.
He said the clinical capacity of HMGH has been increased to nearly three times its previous capacity.
The number of beds increased to 330 from 118, with the possibility of increasing this number to 560 beds (for intensive and non-intensive care unit) through the use of an attached field hospital that was created for this purpose.
Dr Muhammad pointed out that more than 135 COVID-19 patients have been treated in the Intensive Care Unit of Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital. More than half of these patients have recovered or their health conditions improved and they no longer needed critical healthcare as they were transferred either to the regular care departments or to the home-health isolation or quarantine facilities.
He said the state’s healthcare system managed to deal with all the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, thanks to the strategy for tracking the virus and to allocating enough capacity to provide good healthcare to all patients.
He said the Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital is one of five facilities dedicated to treating COVID-19, with the hospital having more than 250 doctors in different specialties.
He stressed that all parts of the healthcare system in Qatar consolidated their efforts to prepare for the health crisis. Adequate time was given to training people and managing resources to ensure best service. He also said the HMC has contingency plans in case there is more need of intensive care.
He said many countries were facing a difficult challenge in providing ventilators for patients. The healthcare sector and hospitals in Qatar did not suffer from any shortage of these devices or the number of medical staff.
Meanwhile, Dr Muhammad said most of the COVID-19 patients who received medical treatment in the intensive care department at HMGH so far are between the ages of 35 and 70 years, and many of them suffer from chronic diseases, especially high blood pressure.
He said those with critical conditions stay in the intensive care department between two and three weeks, but patient who suffers from chronic diseases may need a longer time to recover from the infection with this virus.
Qatar will not witness a large numbers of deaths like other countries in the world, he added.
“We affirm our readiness to provide care for people with critical conditions who are infected with this virus. We call for each of us to work on their sides to prevent the spread of the virus to avoid exposing healthcare services in hospitals, especially in intensive care departments, to severe pressure,” he said.
“Although the terrifying scenarios that have occurred in many countries do not necessarily mean that they may happen in our country, we must work together to combat this pandemic and put an end to its spread,” he noted.