* Change comes into immediate effect
* 3 more days of isolation if patient tests positive again in RAT on Day 7
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has reduced, with immediate effect, the mandatory period of isolation and sick leave for confirmed Covid-19 cases from 10 to seven days.
In a statement on Monday, the MoPH said individuals who test positive for Covid-19 in a test done at medical facilities and whose Ehteraz status changes to red will automatically be eligible for seven days of sick leave, according to Qatar News Agency.
These individuals will be required to have a rapid antigen test done at a medical facility authorised by the ministry on Day 7. If the result of this test is negative, the individual's Ehteraz status will change to green and they will be able to leave isolation and return to work on Day 8.
If the Day 7 rapid antigen test (RAT) is positive, the individual must undergo a further three days of isolation and will be given additional three days of sick leave. They are free to leave isolation on Day 11 with no requirement for a further test.
The ministry stated that the decision to reduce the isolation period has been made following a review of the latest local and international clinical evidence showing that most people will be negative by Day 7 and pose low or no risk of transferring the virus to others.
The MoPH stressed the need for people to follow the standard precautionary measures when ending their isolation period. They include wearing a mask in line with the government policy as well as maintaining social distancing and good hand hygiene.
In a related video message posted on social media yesterday, Hamad General Hospital medical director Dr Yousef al-Maslamani said a person who is positive for Covid-19 will get sick leave for seven days only unless s/he tests positive again in a rapid antigen test done on Day 7.
“On the seventh day, the infected person will have to go to one of the private Covid-19 testing facilities approved by the ministry or a health centre to do a rapid antigen test. If the result is negative, the Ehteraz status will change from red to green on the seventh day and the person concerned can leave isolation and return to work on Day 8. If the result is positive, s/he will have to continue the isolation for three days while the Ehteraz status will remain red. After this period, a certificate will be sent from the MoPH extending the leave by another three days,” he explained.
The sick leave is sent electronically to the person concerned through a message, and has to be downloaded from the given link.