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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Qatar closes largest vaccination centre as 83% of population inoculated


Qatar’s health ministry closed one of the world’s largest Covid-19 vaccination centres on Saturday after it provided 1.6 million vaccines to residents in the country.

The Qatar Vaccination Centre for Business and Industry permanently closed its doors after  providing more than 1.6 million Covid-19 vaccines to residents in the Gulf state.

Qatar’s health ministry confirmed the centre has administered more than 1.6 million doses of vaccines since it opened in June.

“This centre played a pivotal role in supporting the safe roll-out of Qatars phased plan to lift Covid-19 restrictions by ensuring that service workers had access to the vaccine and were protected,” said the lead of the Covid-19 centre, Dr Khalid Abdulnoor.

“We are proud to have been able to vaccinate so many key industry workers during this period and to help the community get back to normal,” he added.

The centre was a product of a collaboration between the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), and Qatar Charity (QC).

The project, supported by the Ministry of Interior and ConocoPhillips-Qatar, was dedicated to vaccinating business and industry workers as a part of the country’s phased plan to lift Covid-19 restrictions.

The centre covered more than 300,000 square meters, making it one of the largest vaccination centres in the world. This allowed it to roll out up to 25,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines each day.


Back to normal

Last week authorities confirmed, 27 out of 28 PHCC’s centres have returned to full operation and delivery of healthcare services, in addition to face-to-face consultations if requested.

This is “with the exception of the Rawdat Al Khail Health Centre, which will remain as a Covid-19 dedicated health center,” said Dr Samya Abdulla, Executive Director of Operations.

Qatar’s active Covid-19 cases have also dipped below 1,000 for the first time since April 2020 according to recent statistics from the MoPH.

In the last 24 hours, 66 people recovered from the virus, bringing the total number of active cases down to 918. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 236,341 total recoveries, numbers have shown.

So far, 4,787,360 total vaccine doses have been administered since the National Vaccination Program kicked off in December. As it stands, 83.1% of Qatar’s total population have been protected against the novel coronavirus.

The recent numbers could be a positive indication that the Gulf nation has finally controlled the spread of the virus as it moves towards further easing of restrictions.

Earlier this month, authorities announced masks are now deemed non-mandatory outdoors except in specific locations. Souqs, malls, schools and workplaces are now operating at a 100% capacity, and Shisha is now permitted in certain areas.

Qatar’s health ministry also announced that Covid-19 thermal screenings will no longer be needed in public places with the exception of transport hubs such as metro stations, airports and other ports. This comes as a part of Qatar’s Phase 4, its ‘Back to Normal’ plan.

Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health [MoPH] has also updated travel policies, which included an update of the categorisation of countries in the Green and Red lists, removing the yellow list entirely and introducing a secondary Exceptional Red Countries list instead.

Per the new regulations, Qatar’s citizens and residents who are fully vaccinated and returning from green-listed countries are no longer required to take a PCR test before departing the country. However, they will be required to take the test within 36 hours of their arrival in Doha.

Vaccinated visitors travelling from green countries are not required to quarantine.

The MoPH also reduced the price of PCR tests from QAR 300 to QAR 160.

Qatar also updated the list of approved doses, adding Sinovac and Sputnik vaccines to its list, which already included Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson.

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