Experts from the frontlines on the fight against the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in the country highlighted the efforts of the Qatar government in controlling and preventing the spread of the virus at a Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) online panel discussion.
The event, titled “Dealing with Covid-19 in Qatar: A Panel Discussion,” was organised and co-hosted by Georgetown Women’s Alliance Qatar (GWA-Q) secretary Clare Wait, chief facilities management officer at GU-Q and attended by an audience representing universities across Education City and Qatar Foundation (QF) partner institutions, and other members of the public.
Faruk Mohamed Azad, assistant executive director for Business Development at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), presented an overview of the Qatar government’s key efforts to control the spread of the disease through swiftly implemented precautionary measures such as travel restrictions, official quarantines, and stay-at-home directives.
He detailed the robust efforts to expand and fortify medical capacity, including the creation of a round-the-clock hotline and new quarantine facilities.
Another panellist, Abdulaziz Murad, head of Emergency Planning in the Health, Safety, Security and Environment Department Directorate at QF, described the situation as a long term crisis that requires planning for both the short and long term.
Speaking in his capacity as a Red Crescent volunteer in disaster response and management training, he shared details of a future Red Crescent project to promote social distancing awareness at grocery stores.
Both Murad and Azad are graduates of Georgetown’s Executive Master’s in International Emergency and Disaster Management
Dr Lamyaa Bani-Murad, director of the QF Primary Health Care Centre, described the important safety precautions taken in the clinic in line with ministry guidelines.
She noted that the clinic had recently introduced telemedicine, or appointments conducted over the phone, to protect the community and ensure social distancing protocols.
Dr Bani-Murad thanked GU-Q for providing an opportunity to engage directly with the community, and to give needed assurance that best practices have been instituted for the best possible outcomes.
Meanwhile, the GWA-Q secretary underscored the importance of the discussion saying, “Social media can be a great source for trusted information, but unfortunately, there’s also a lot of misinformation out there. By hosting this event with figures directly involved in Qatar’s pandemic response, we hope to provide a valuable and needed resource for the community.”
Co-host Dr Mahnaz Mousavi, director of Student Wellness and Counseling Centre at GU-Q and co-chair of QWA-Q, helped introduce the event and moderate the question and answer session that concluded the event.
“This event falls in line with Georgetown’s dedication to providing a platform that connects decision-makers with the community, for dialogue and discussion on the issues that directly affect all of us,” she said.
GWA-Q is a forum dedicated to innovative ideas and strategies that enhance opportunities for women in the community. The GWA-Q facilitates sustained conversation, interaction and networking, aggregation and communication about events and programming, and
leveraging of resources.
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