Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal, Chair of the National Health Strategic Group on COVID-19 has said that Qatar is still in the end of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.
“The coronavirus exists in the community. The new variants like South African and UK which spread
in the countries of the world are more severe,” said Dr. Al Khal while speaking in a Qatar TV programme yesterday.
To a question about the privileges to vaccinated people in gradual lifting of COVID-19 restriction, he
said: “Giving some privileges to vaccinated people with both doses in phase one is not discrimination, but to protect the people.”
He said that going to restaurants, gyms and other closed places creates a risk of infection and after
taking both doses people not fully vaccinated yet will enjoy the same privileges.
“Gradually with increasing rate of vaccinated people in the community, the number of infections will
decrease after that the number of those left non-vaccinated will reach very low then they might enjoy the same privileges like others,” said Dr. Al Khal.
He said that Qatar will go ahead with its planned gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions. “All indicators of the situation of the pandemic in the country are satisfactory. There was some worry about the rising cases of infection after Eid Al Fitr but it was a slight increase,” said Dr. Al Khal.
He said that the awareness of the community about the pandemic and fast-rolling out COVID-19 vaccine helped in curbing the cases of infection.
“The gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions does not mean to neglect compliance of the measures in places because the coronavirus still exists in the community and there are countries in the region where infection cases are on the rise,” said Dr. Al Khal.
“So far, vaccine in Qatar is very effective for the variants of the UK and South Africa reaching over 90 percent especially preventing from severe infection,” said Dr. Al Khal.
Regarding the variants which appeared in South East Asia, Dr. Al Khal said, according to recent information, the vaccines which are being used in UK like Pfizer and AstraZeneca are very much effective against these variants.
“It means that we will be safe in Qatar from new variants because the vaccines which we are using here will be effective against these variants,” said Dr. Al Khal.
Source: The Peninsula