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‘Enough hospital beds, ICUs key to success of our COVID-19 response’

‘Enough hospital beds, 
ICUs key to success of our COVID-19 response’

Minister of Public Health HE Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari has praised the commendable work done by COVID-19 System Wide Incident Command Committee (SWICC) in limiting the spread of the virus.
“At the beginning of this pandemic, one of the most critical elements of our healthcare system’s response was to be able to plan and deliver an effective operational response to COVID-19. Making sure that we had enough hospital beds, intensive care capacity, and isolation facilities to provide high-quality care to everyone who needed it has been central to the success of our response to COVID-19,” Dr Al Kuwari said during a meeting of SWICC on Monday.
“This has been no easy task, and it is the SWICC committee, chaired by Dr Saad Al Kaabi, which has worked tirelessly over the last few months to make sure that we have always had enough beds and staff to provide high-quality care for all our COVID-19 patients. We thank them for their unwavering dedication and commitment to our patients,” Dr Al Kuwari added.
During the meeting, Dr Al Kaabi and members of the SWICC updated the minister on the latest status. She was briefed on the encouraging trend of declining numbers of people being admitted to hospital and intensive care each day as a result of the virus.
The meeting also discussed in detail the concerning recent increases in positive cases among Qatari and expat families and how this could lead to increases in hospitalisations and deaths, in the near future if people fail to follow the prevention advice issued by the Ministry of Public Health.
Although the numbers are reducing, there is concern on the increased severity of the illness with more patients being admitted directly to ICU.
Dr Al Kaabi said, “Throughout this unprecedented pandemic, the health minister’s leadership and guidance have enabled us to effectively plan and deliver our comprehensive strategy. COVID-19 is far from over in Qatar and we will be living with the virus for many months to come, but as a healthcare sector, we should be proud of our efforts so far.”
“We have worked with speed and efficiency to more than triple our ICU bed capacity and establish medical and isolation facilities for tens of thousands of COVID-19 patients. By ensuring anyone with COVID-19 can quickly access the medical care they need we have been able to treat their symptoms early and prevent complications this has been a key factor in Qatar having one of the lowest COVID-19 death rates in the world,” he added.
“In addition to leading the healthcare sectors COVID-19 response, the SWICC has also been responsible for making sure our non-COVID-19 services continue to run wherever possible and we have overseen some of the most rapid innovation in service provision imaginable: all to make sure our patients can get continuity of care during this challenging time,” Dr Al Kaabi said.
The SWICC is made up of clinical and operational leaders from across the healthcare sector and was formed in February, before any cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Qatar, to lead the healthcare sector’s response to the virus.