Dealing with a viral disease outbreak in a nation is no easy feat. This is especially true when the pathogen in question is so new that there is no standard treatment to manage it, nor a vaccine to prevent it. Or when it is so contagious that each infected person could potentially infect 2–2.5 individuals—a rate higher than seasonal influenza, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Despite these challenges, it is our view at Doha Family that Qatar’s response to the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) has been stellar.
When the virus had just started spreading in the Middle East, Qatar geared up its healthcare system and other national resources to prepare in case it ended up in these shores. Quarantine facilities were set up, and private flights were arranged to evacuate citizens and their families from Iran, which was the regional hotspot for Covid-19.
As soon as the first positive cases were confirmed in early March, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) announced this information to the public. After that, detailed updates on the state’s response to the spread of the virus and the latest evidence-based recommendations to deal with it had been publicised in the local media through regular press releases and conferences.