Sanaullah Ataulla | The Peninsula
Qatar is likely to limit the spread of COVID-19 within the next few months to a level that the pandemic will not be a threat to the public health, said Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal yesterday. “We are on the way to winning the battle against the pandemic,” Dr. Al Khal, Chair of the National Health Strategy Group on COVID-19, said.
About 60% of the population have received one dose of the vaccine and 46% have received both doses. “In the past, it was said that if about 70 percent of the population get vaccinated the community will be protected, but with the emergence of new variants, from 80 to 90 percent people are required to be vaccinated to announce the total victory over the pandemic,” he said.
“With the help of vaccines, we are moving towards the right direction in curbing the pandemic. We will reach a stage that the number of COVID-19 cases will be limited and not threaten public health,” said Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal. Speaking to Qatar TV yesterday, Dr. Al Khal said that there might be some individual cases which may get diagnosed at times without any wide spread COVID-19 in the community.
“Despite the high rate of vaccination, some countries are witnessing an increase in COVID-19 cases, but in Qatar a new wave of the pandemic is unlikely,” said Dr. Al Khal. He said that the vaccines which are given in Qatar are safe and effective.
“Qatar is giving Moderna and Pfizer vaccines with high efficiency to protect people from the COVID-19 virus,” said Dr. Al Khal. However, he said that people should follow all precautionary measures until majority of the community is vaccinated. In reply to a question about re-imposing COVID-19 restrictions if the number of cases increase in future, Dr. Al Khal said that it cannot be ruled out. “If people follow preventive measures and take the vaccine when they are eligible, we will not be forced to impose more restrictions.”