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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Battle against Covid-19 in Qatar ‘not over yet’: official

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Health experts earlier warned that the Omicron variant could be the strongest Covid-19 strain due to its large numbers of mutations.

The rise in daily Covid-19 reported cases is “not a cause for alarm,” a health official said, but the emergence of the new mutant is a global reminder that the battle against Covid-19 is not yet over.

The recent comments from Dr. Jameela al-Ajmi, executive director of Corporate Infection Prevention & Control at Hamad Medical Corporation, came shortly after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman all reported their first cases of the new coronavirus variant on Wednesday, recording the first known Omicron infections in the Gulf region.

The new variant was recently classified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a “variant of concern” due to its fast transmission ability and strong reported symptoms. Health experts also earlier warned that the Omicron variant could be the strongest Covid-19 strain due to its large numbers of mutations.

Its recent discovery has sparked fear across the world with WHO warning of a great number of mutations that pose a risk of reinfection and several countries yet again reimposing strict precautionary measures.

Read also: Qatar issues travel rules update as Omicron detected in GCC.

Fortunately, Qatar has yet to report any infections with the new “deadly” variant – a feat officials have attributed to the Gulf state’s strong travel restrictions and high vaccination rate.

However, a recent and slight spike in the number of daily Covid-19 cases has echoed some concerns among the community on whether Qatar will have to re-reimplement new restrictions to limit the spread of infection.

On Sunday, the Gulf nation reported a total of 152 new cases, taking the number of active cases up to 2,153. Meanwhile, 119 people have recovered from the virus in the last 24 hours.

Despite this, the situation in Qatar remains under control due to its high vaccination rate, health experts added, noting this has greatly helped in containing the virus.

To further increase awareness and help control the spread of the virus, Dr. al-Ajmi explained in a Twitter video how the community could support the ongoing fight against Covid-19.

“We can all play a part in the ongoing fight against Covid-19 through three main actions: 1) getting vaccinated, including having a booster vaccine when your are eligible; 2) getting tested quickly if you experience signs and symptoms of Covid-19 or have been exposed to a Covid case; and 3) adhering to the precautionary measures, including social distancing, regular hand-washing and wearing of mask as it has been proven to reduce the spread of the virus,” she said.


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