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Qatar holds symposium on NCoV for HCW's

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  • Qatar holds symposium on NCoV for HCW's

    "HMC employees checked for coronavirus, test negative

    June 4, 2013

    Around 50 Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) employees were last year checked for the Novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection after they came in close contact with the two patients so far confirmed with the virus in the country. All the staffers tested negative.

    Since September 2012, up to 300 suspected cases have tested negative for nCoV at the HMC virology laboratory and no death has occurred so far in the country.

    ...Speaking about the HMC?s pandemic preparedness and infection control plan against nCoV, HMC Corporate Infection and Prevention Control senior consultant Dr Jameela al-Khowaiter al-Thani said all the suspected cases at the HMC tested negative for the virus.

    ?On September 12 last year, we discovered the first case of nCoV in Qatar and about 33 healthcare workers were exposed to the patient in different HMC sections, including the Ambulance Service, Accident and Emergency unit and at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), while about 14 samples of nasopharyngeal swabs were collected from 14 employees who came in contact with the second patient,? she disclosed at a one-day symposium on coronavirus update yesterday. According to her, the 14 suspected cases among the HMC employees were 10 staffers of the Emergency department, one Ambulance Service worker and three from the ICU.

    Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the symposium, the Supreme Council of Health (SCH)?s Public Health department director Dr Mohamed al-Thani - who reaffirmed that Qatar has no deaths due to coronavirus infections - mentioned that in case of any positive test, the country will still need to carry out a confirmation test at an international testing centre. ?We have the testing kits to check suspected samples and if there is any positive case, we will still have to confirm it at an international testing centre, either in England or Holland, or wherever we need to make this confirmation,? he explained.

    The official said a group of experts from WHO will soon visit Qatar to help establish whether the source of the nCoV infection is in the country or is coming from elsewhere, such as Saudi Arabia.

    ?As the source of the virus is still unknown and nobody is sure how the transmission is happening, we are not aware of the source of the virus yet and why certain families are being affected and others are not. Therefore, we have invited the WHO group and are expecting them to arrive the country soon,? the official said. ?We hope their findings will help us prepare for any future challenges due to the virus.?

    According to Dr Mohamed al-Thani, the workshop was organised to prepare all the healthcare receptors in Qatar, including primary healthcare, semi-government and private sector, to be ready to identify suspected case of nCoV.

    ?We want healthcare workers to first learn how to identify the virus faster while we also give treatment in earnest, as well as to ensure that the intensive care unit team gives the right treatment to the infected person as required,? he said..."


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