No physical attendance at outpatient clinics in all HMC hospitals starting from Wednesday.
Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) announced on Monday that physical attendance at outpatient clinics will stop across all its hospitals from February 10, due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Qatar.
Consultations already scheduled will still be conducted on the day of the appointment via phone calls between the doctor and the patient, HMC added.
“HMC will instead be using telephone consultations between the physician and patient,” a statement said.
“Patients are asked not to come into hospital for appointment. The physician will telephone the patient on the day of the appointment,” it added.
For cases in which a doctor is required to see a patient, individuals will be informed directly by the clinic prior to the appointment to arrange a face-to-face meeting.
HMC’s decision was taken to ensure the protection and safety of all patients across the the country as it appears to battle a potential second wave of the novel coronavirus.
On Monday, the Ministry of Public Health confirmed 427 new COVID-19 cases in Qatar – the highest in months.
On January 1, Qatar recorded 208 new cases, with the number rising to 351 new daily cases by the end of the month. Since then, the number has been increasing on a daily basis.
At the start of the year, authorities confirmed 2,241 active cases. This has since increased by 223% to 7,241 active cases – triggering concerns over a potential second wave in the country despite repeated assurances from some officials that this was not the case.
The last fatality recorded was on February 8, bringing the number to 251. Qatar has had a coronavirus fatality rate of 0.14%, one of the lowest in the world.
Across the world, the virus has constantly mutated into new strains, with two detected in the UK and South Africa, though Qatar has so far been spared.
Last week, the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management held a press conference to announce the reimposition of some restrictions in a bid to contain the surge in cases.