As the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) broke out, the Medical Affairs Division of Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) intensified its efforts to respond to the emergency and deal with its community impact. All the medical professionals and technical resources have been mobilized.
In partnership with health authorities and institutions, QRCS works under the umbrella of the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management, the supervisory body managing all related medical and volunteering activities.
QRCS created an operations room to collect timely information and post public awareness messages online and via social media.
Diverse written and audiovisual messages are posted by QRCS in the six languages of major communities in Qatar. As the only service of its kind, sign language is used in several messages addressed to persons with special needs.
Under the supervision of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), the four Workers’ Health Centers managed by QRCS have so far provided medical services for 57,700 visitors. These are located in Mesaimeer, New Industrial Area, Fereej Abdul-Aziz, and Zekreet.
The centers work normally 24/7 through the following clinics: GP, ENT, cardiology, dentistry, pulmonology, ophthalmology, dermatology, urgent cases, laboratory, X-ray, and pharmacy.
As a precautionary measure, a nurse is assigned to receive the visitors at the entrance of each health center to check their body temperature and identify suspicious cases. Multilingual health education is given to the visitors at waiting areas, both by the medical staff and on public screens.
Currently, QRCS has 623 medical professionals in duty, including physicians, first responders, nurses, technicians, trainers, and health educators. The emergency ambulance service is put on standby, to be deployed immediately once directions are issued by MoPH. QRCS has 50 highly-equipped and sanitized ambulance vehicles, run by well-trained paramedics licensed by Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners (QCHP).
Over the past few weeks, QRCS’s health education team held 24 training courses in three languages on the basics of personal hygiene, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), Coronavirus disease symptoms, and how to contact the competent organizations to report a case.
In addition, a series of online training courses were held for 10,000 persons from 15 organizations, such as Qatar Post, Hamad International Airport (HIA), Hamad Port, Al-Ruwais Port, United Development Co. (UDC), and private companies.
QRCS and MoPH work together to provide medical services at the two quarantine facilities in Mukaynis, as well as 28 other quarantine locations, including Hazm Mebaireek and Umm Qarn. Work is going on 24/7 to offer nine medical services, including reception, examinations, and referrals.
In cooperation with MoPH and Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), a medical team is conducting health screening in many areas, companies, and organizations sch as Nakilat and Qatar Cultural and Heritage Events Center (QCHEC). They also provide health education and awareness for the public. Another medical team from QRCS is stationed in the Industrial Area to conduct health screening, vital signs measurement, and taking samples for further laboratory tests.