Citizens and residents can now get the Rapid Antigen Test in 45 different private healthcare centre around the country.
Qatar’s health ministry has announced an updated list of approved private healthcare centres for mandatory rapid Covid-19 tests.
“Anyone needing a Rapid Antigen Test to detect COVID-19 virus antigens is reminded that these are delivered through private healthcare facilities,” the Ministry of Public Health said this week.
The 45 health centres include: Al Abeer medical, Allevia Medical Center, Sama Medical Care, Dr Khaled Al Sheikh Medical, Dr Mohammad Amine Zbeib, Gardenia Medical Center, Nova Health Care, Asian Medical Health, Al Ahli Hospital, Al Tai Medical, Focus Medical Center, Al Wakra Clinics & Urgent Care Unit, Al Jameel Medical Center, Turkish Hospital, Atlas Medical Center, Naseem Al Rabeeh Medical Center Doha, Naseem Al Rabeeh Medical Center, New Naseem Al Rabeeh Medical Center.
Al Esraa Polyclinic, Elite Medical Center, Dr. Maher Abbas Polyclinic, Syrian American Medical Center, Future Medical Center, Premium Naseem Al-Rabeeh Medical Center- Doha, Apollo Polyclinic- Qatar, Al Esraa Medical Center, SAC Polyclinic- Qatar Mall, Dr.Moopen’s Aster Hospital, Elite Medical Center, Aster Medical Center Plus- Almuntazah, Aster Medical Center- Al Khor, Dr.Maher Abbas Polyclinic, Aster Medical Center Plus, Wellcare Polyclinic, Aster Medical Center (Industrial Area), Al Malakiya Clinics, Al Emadi Hospital Clinics-North W.L.L, Al Emadi Hospital, Al Emadi Hospital, Al Jameel Medical Center, Al Tahrir Medical Center and Al Fardan Medical.
The newly approved Covid-19 test costs QR 50 and only requires a simple nasal swab, with the results revealed within 15 minutes.
For employees that have yet to be vaccinated, the test is to be taken on a weekly basis, in line with recent regulations put in place by authorities.
The decision is part of Qatar’s cabinet’s conditions and directives for Phase 2 of the gradual lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.
The regulation was put in place to ensure those who are fully immune to Covid-19 are kept free from the virus. The ministry urged those who require the test to call their local private healthcare provider to make an appointment beforehand.
Meanwhile, Primary Health Care Corporation [PHCC] has adjusted its operating hours for its drive-through Covid-19 swabbing at its centres to protect its workers from heat stress. This is to ensure that the community still has easy access to testing while also ensuring the healthcare staff’s well-being and safety.
The new hours will start from 4pm to 11pm daily, with the last possible entry at 10pm, the health corporation announced.
“Limiting the operating hours to the late afternoons and evenings ensures that members of the public using the drive-through swabbing centres will continue to be able to enjoy the best possible user experience, while maintaining the well-being of all staff,” PHCC said in a tweet.
— مؤسسة الرعاية الصحية الأولية (@PHCCqatar) June 21, 2021
Phase 2 of the gradual lifting of Covid-19 restrictions kicked off in Qatar on Friday following a significant dip in daily and active cases in the last month.
The new eased regulations are part of a four-phase plan introduced by the ministry of health and the ministry of commerce in early May to slowly return to normality.
The regulations include increasing workforce capacity to 80%, allowing kids in malls and souqs again, allowing in-door and out-door weddings with a certain capacity, and allowing vaccinated fans to attend matches and tournaments in the country.
Amusement parks and all entertainment centres are also now open at a capacity not exceeding 30% in open spaces and 20% in closed spaces, provided that 75% of the customers are fully vaccinated.
Half population fully vaccination
Over half of the population— aged 16 and above — have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in Qatar.
Recent statistics from the ministry show that over 1,273,636 people have been fully vaccinated in the country.
According to the figures, 56.2% of those 16 and over have received two doses while 70% have received one. The percentage of people over 40 years of age to receive one dose stands at 88.6% with 78.4% completing the course.
Meanwhile, 95.3% of those aged 60 and above received the first dose with 89.8% of this age group now fully vaccinated.
Since the start of the country’s National Vaccination Campaign, over 2,898,814 vaccine doses have been administered. The country has been expanding its vaccination campaign in recent months to ensure the community’s safety— administrating over 10,000 doses daily.
Second wave coming to an end
Qatar’s daily reported Covid-19 cases have been drastically decreasing in the last month, with health officials assuring that the country is on the verge of ending its second wave.
Qatar is also set to be among the first countries to achieve herd immunity against Covid-19 in a months time, Dr. Mohammed bin Hamad Al Thani, Director of Public Health at the Ministry of Public Health announced earlier this month.
The health official also revealed that thanks to the country’s rapid vaccination drive and the public’s adherence to precautionary measures, the country is expected to open its doors to tourism “very soon.”
“We will be among the first countries to get the herd immunity in one month from now assuring that we can open in the coming months very soon for tourism. We will prefer vaccinated people in the first stage and then we can evaluate every case. The system is more sustainable for that,” he added.
Meanwhile, non-vaccinated individuals will be able to enjoy the same privileges as those that have received the full dosage of the injection once the country reaches its target, Head of Vaccination at the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), Dr. Soha Al Bayat said on Qatar TV.
“We do not force anyone to take Covid-19 vaccine and by the time we reach the targeted percentage of vaccinated people, those who are non-vaccinated will enjoy the same privileges of in the gradual lifting of Covid-19 restrictions,” Al Bayat said.
“Non-vaccinated people will be able to avail the privileges later compared to those who are vaccinated. The number of people who are really exempted from taking Covid-19 vaccine are very small. We encourage the remaining people to take the vaccine to enjoy the privileges available at present.”