There are no plans to close down the schools in the country on account of COVID-19, a senior official of Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) told Saturday.
“We are closely monitoring the situation in the country and there is no case of the disease from the community so far. Schools are also continuously watched and there is no need to close down the schools as of now,” said Sheikh Dr Mohamed bin Hamad al-Thani, director of Public Health at the Ministry of Public Health, MoPH.
He noted that several other countries have taken the decision to suspend classes of the educational institutes because there were COVID-19 cases reported from the community members in those countries.
Sheikh Mohamed was speaking to the media at a press conference to breif the measures taken by Qatar to prevent exposure to COVID-19 in Qatar.
“All the 12 positive cases of COVID-19 in Qatar are from people who have been evacuated from Iran. So far, there is not a single case that has been reported from the community inside the country,” he highlighted.
“Most studies also say that children under 22 years of old are the least affected by COVID-19. Even if they are infected, they get cured faster. The virus in general affects higher age groups and younger groups are comparatively safer from the virus. So there is no need as of now to suspend the classes,” explained the official.
Sheikh Mohamed also noted that several places have been arranged to quarantine suspected cases. “We have arranged a hotel and many places at different locations around the country to quarantine suspected cases. These buildings can cover hundreds of people to quarantined,” he maintained.
As for travel, Sheikh Mohamed advised people to avoid unnecessary travel especially to countries where there is a high risk of the virus.
“We advise people who are above 60 as well as with chronic diseases to avoid travel. We prefer them to stay in the country as we have a good system and healthcare in place. So we expect people to stay in the country and wait and watch what will happen in the coming months,” he suggested.
The official also told that the staff and healthcare professionals at the hotel and quarantine places are also well taken care of and all the necessary measures have been adopted to protect from the virus.
"All cases reported are quarantined and only suspected cases go the Communicable Disease Center( CDC). If they are tested negative, they will get back to the quarantine and if they are tested positive they will be treated at CDC," added the official.