‘Enough hos­pi­tal beds, ICUs key to suc­cess of our COVID-19 re­sponse’

Health min­is­ter thanks SWICC for ef­fec­tive virus re­sponse

Qatar Tribune - - Front Page -

MIN­IS­TER of Pub­lic Health HE Dr Hanan Mo­hamed Al Kuwari has praised the com­mend­able work done by COVID-19 Sys­tem Wide In­ci­dent Com­mand Com­mit­tee (SWICC) in lim­it­ing the spread of the virus.

“At the be­gin­ning of this pan­demic, one of the most crit­i­cal el­e­ments of our health­care sys­tem’s re­sponse was to be able to plan and de­liver an ef­fec­tive op­er­a­tional re­sponse to COVID-19. Mak­ing sure that we had enough hos­pi­tal beds, in­ten­sive care ca­pac­ity, and iso­la­tion fa­cil­i­ties to pro­vide high-qual­ity care to ev­ery­one who needed it has been cen­tral to the suc­cess of our re­sponse to COVID-19,” Dr Al Kuwari said dur­ing a meet­ing of SWICC on Mon­day.

“This has been no easy task, and it is the SWICC com­mit­tee, chaired by Dr Saad Al Kaabi, which has worked tire­lessly over the last few months to make sure that we have al­ways had enough beds and staff to pro­vide high-qual­ity care for all our COVID-19 pa­tients. We thank them for their un­wa­ver­ing ded­i­ca­tion and com­mit­ment to our pa­tients,” Dr Al Kuwari added.

Dur­ing the meet­ing, Dr Al Kaabi and mem­bers of the SWICC up­dated the min­is­ter on the lat­est sta­tus. She was briefed on the en­cour­ag­ing trend of de­clin­ing num­bers of peo­ple be­ing ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal and in­ten­sive care each day as a re­sult of the virus.

The meet­ing also dis­cussed in de­tail the con­cern­ing re­cent in­creases in pos­i­tive cases among Qatari and ex­pat fam­i­lies and how this could lead to in­creases in hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tions and deaths, in the near fu­ture if peo­ple fail to fol­low the preven­tion ad­vice is­sued by the Min­istry of Pub­lic Health.

Although the num­bers are re­duc­ing, there is con­cern on the in­creased sever­ity of the ill­ness with more pa­tients be­ing ad­mit­ted di­rectly to ICU.

Dr Al Kaabi said, “Through­out this un­prece­dented pan­demic, the health min­is­ter’s lead­er­ship and guid­ance have en­abled us to ef­fec­tively plan and de­liver our com­pre­hen­sive strat­egy. COVID-19 is far from over in Qatar and we will be liv­ing with the virus for many months to come, but as a health­care sec­tor, we should be proud of our ef­forts so far.”

“WE have worked with speed and ef­fi­ciency to more than triple our ICU bed ca­pac­ity and es­tab­lish med­i­cal and iso­la­tion fa­cil­i­ties for tens of thou­sands of COVID-19 pa­tients. By en­sur­ing any­one with COVID-19 can quickly ac­cess the med­i­cal care they need, we have been able to treat their symp­toms early and pre­vent com­pli­ca­tions this has been a key fac­tor in Qatar hav­ing one of the low­est COVID-19 death rates in the world,” he added.

“In ad­di­tion to lead­ing the health­care sec­tors’ COVID-19 re­sponse, the SWICC has also been re­spon­si­ble for mak­ing sure our non-COVID-19 ser­vices con­tinue to run wher­ever pos­si­ble and we have over­seen some of the most rapid in­no­va­tion in ser­vice pro­vi­sion imag­in­able: all to make sure our pa­tients can get con­ti­nu­ity of care dur­ing this chal­leng­ing time,” Dr Kaabi said.

The SWICC is made up of clin­i­cal and op­er­a­tional lead­ers from across the health­care sec­tor and was formed in Fe­bru­ary, be­fore any cases of COVID-19 were con­firmed in Qatar, to lead the health­care sec­tor’s re­sponse to the virus.

Min­is­ter of Pub­lic Health HE Dr Hanan Mo­hamed Al Kuwari at­tends a meet­ing of the COVID-19 Sys­tem Wide In­ci­dent Com­mand Com­mit­tee (SWICC) on Mon­day.

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