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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Stricter hospital visit policies as Qatar battles second Covid-19 wave


Officials at Hamad Medical Corporation announce visitors will no longer be allowed at seven Covid-19 facilities across Qatar. 

Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has announced stricter policies for visitors at Covid-19 facilities as well as other non-Covid-19 hospitals in efforts to protect patients, visitors and healthcare staff.

No visitors are allowed into any of the seven Covid-19 facilities: Al Wakra Hospital, Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital, Communicable Disease Center, The Cuban Hospital, Ras Laffan Hospital, Mesaieed Hospital and the Surgical Specialty Center.

Meanwhile, all non-Covid-19 facilities are to only accept visitors from 3 to 8pm, with mandatory temperature and green Ehteraz checks. Only one visitor will be allowed at a time for 15 minutes, with a maximum of three visitors per patient during visiting hours.

No food or beverages, chocolates, or flowers will be permitted and children under 15 years old are not allowed to enter the facilities.

This comes as Qatar faces its second wave of the virus, seeing more deaths, more ICU admissions, and more ambulance service calls. The latest surge in cases is a result of the UK strain of Covid-19, which experts say is more transmissible and has more severe symptoms than the original strain.

Read also: How to protect yourself against ‘the more deadly’ UK strain

“The rising severity of Covid-19 cases in Qatar has led to increased numbers of people being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 for treatment,” said head of Infection Control at Al Wakra Hospital Dr Nasser al-Ansari.
“To manage this increased demand for hospital beds, HMC has designated seven facilities to provide care for patients with Covid-19 and our policy means that no visitors are allowed to these facilities, while all other facilities are operating a restricted visitor policy,” the doctor added.

HMC and Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) have made several service changes in recent weeks to divert resources to Covid-19 measures.

Recently, private health centres halted all non-urgent services and private healthcare staff have been redeployed for Covid-19 support roles within HMC and PHCC.

The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) also announced the suspension of newborn registration in Al Wakra Hospital which is now being used as a Covid-19 facility.

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