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Friday, January 28, 2022

Two hospitals discharge last Covid-19 patients as cases decline


Both hospitals will recommence normal services as cases continue to dip in the country. 

The Al Wakra and Ras Laffan Covid-19 hospital discharged their last coronavirus patients on Monday, the Ministry of Public Health [MoPH] announced, following a steady decrease in cases in recent weeks.

“Minister of Public Health thanks healthcare staff as Al Wakra Hospital and Ras Laffan Hospitals discharge last Covid-19 patients,” the ministry said in a tweet.

In the last couple of months, both facilities were designated as Covid-19 centres to help meet the demand for hospital admissions as the country struggled to contain the spread of the virus during the second wave.

“As Covid-19 cases rose earlier this year, the number of people requiring hospital admission due to moderate and severe Covid-19 symptoms increased significantly,” said Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, Minister of Public Health.

“To ensure the healthcare sector was able to meet this demand, and provide high-quality care to every patient requiring treatment, Ras Laffan and Al Wakra Hospitals were designated as two of the seven COVID-19 facilities,” said Dr. Al Kuwari added.

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However, with the number of daily reported cases drastically decreasing in recent weeks, in large due to the implementation of new strict regulations in April, fewer people now require hospital admissions for virus symptoms, the health official added.

“Discharging the last Covid-19 patients from Ras Laffan and Al Wakra Hospitals and recommencing normal services highlights how the combined efforts of the government restrictions, roll-out of the vaccination program and the community’s adherence to preventive measures have all helped to suppress this second wave,” Al Kuwari highlighted, thanking all the hard-working and dedicated staff at both hospitals for working tirelessly to ensure the community’s safety.

During a visit to Al Wakra Hospital, HMC’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Abdulla Al Ansari said that converting the facility was not an easy decision, but an important one to contain the virus and help thousands of patients recover.

He added that the hundreds of healthcare staff, including doctors, nurses, and a wide range of support staff, hugely contributed to the process and helped care for thousands of patients during the second wave.

“I would like to thank everyone who has played their part in caring for Covid-19 patients throughout this pandemic and for the remarkable achievement of returning Al Wakra Hospital to normal services in the shortest time possible, to care for the community,” said Al Ansari.

Read also: Need a PCR test? Here are all the approved centres in Qatar

Since the start of the pandemic last year, Ras Laffan Hospital has been among the facilities dedicated to receiving Covid-19 in both waves. The hospital received over 8,000 patients, all of whom made a full recovery, said Dr. Khaled Al Jalham, Clinical Lead for Ras Laffan Hospital.

“By boosting bed capacity across our system and delivering high-quality care without delay to any patient in need of medical care, we have been able to have one of the lowest Covid-19 mortality rates in the world. I am enormously proud of the team at Ras Laffan,” the official said.

Meanwhile, Al Wakra hospital was also recently transformed into a Covid-19 facility during the second wave, joining seven other hospitals across the country. However, with cases now declining, the hospital will resume normal services starting from Wednesday.

“With Al Wakra Hospital’s role as a Covid-19 facility now at an end, we look forward to returning to normal service provision and delivering high-quality medical services to people living in Al Wakra and the surrounding areas,” said Acting CEO and Medical Director of Al Wakra Hospital, Dr. Sabah Al Kadhi.

“As of tomorrow, Wednesday 26 May, all services, including the Emergency Department, are open as normal to patients.”

Qatar has seen a steady drop in Covid-19 daily cases since restrictions were imposed in early April. The drop can also be attributed to the availability of more vaccines as well as the opening of more vaccination centres, which allowed the country to exponentially ramp up its national inoculation campaign.

On Tuesday, health authorities recorded 349 new Covid-19 cases with 339 new recoveries from the virus. So far, 549 have died of the novel coronavirus in Qatar.

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