Qatar is now seeing the beginning of the third wave of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, a senior health official has said.
“We are now witnessing the beginning of the third wave of the virus in Qatar,” Dr Soha Al Bayat, Head of Vaccination at the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), told Qatar TV in an interview on Sunday.
She said Qatar have witnessed a slight increase in the number of coronavirus infections since November, but during the past ten days and two weeks, the increase has become twofold. “Most of the COVID-19 cases reported recently were in two groups — those who did not receive vaccination including children and those who took the two doses more than six months ago,” she noted.
“This is winter and it is known that viruses in general increase in this season, and we were expecting an increase in numbers in this period.”
Dr Al Bayat said the third dose is safe and effective. “No serious complications occurred or anyone entered intensive care because of it, and the booster dose has a great role to play and we remind people of the importance of taking the booster dose,” she added.
Dr Al Bayat stressed that the third dose is a necessity and the mask is effective and has proven its success in warding off many diseases, not just COVID-19.
She also stressed that the awareness of Qatari society is the reason for the country’s success in combating the pandemic. The high number of cases is most likely due to the new Omicron variant, which is rapidly spreading across the globe. In case of Delta variant, the infected person was infecting one or two people, but Omicron person infects 3 to 6 people.
Dr Al Bayat said, “The information we have until now is that Omicron is spreading fast, its symptoms are mild and it has no complications.”
“Although the symptoms are mild and do not lead to significant complications, we must not underestimate it,” she pointed out.
She said, “It is very safe for patient with mild symptoms to be isolated at home in a separate room for the first five days and then move outside the room wearing mask and abiding by social distance norms for another 5 days before leaving the house.”
Al Bayat also affirmed that the rapid antigen test has proven to be 80 percent accurate and is available in all health centers.COVID-19 booster dose is safe and effective: Dr Al Bayat