HMC

Communicable Diseases Center

Qatar residents who are preparing to go on trips or have returned with travel-related illnesses can now visit a new “one stop shop” center for treatment and advice.

The country’s first travel clinic was just opened by Hamad Medical Corp. (HMC) at its new Communicable Disease Center (CDC).

It will provide patients free vaccinations, offer tips to avoiding falling ill while abroad and care for those who come back sick.

Carlos Reusser Monsalvez/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The clinic will operate on an appointment basis on Mondays only for now. Travelers can book a slot by calling 40254003 between 7am to 7pm.

Safeguarding against illness

In a statement, the CDC’s Medical Director Dr. Muna Al Maslamani said:

“It is important for travelers to be up to date with their vaccination and have their medical care optimized before they travel, particularly when there is a heightened risk of becoming sick in the country they are visiting.”

HMC did not mention any specific illnesses, but officials have previously said they are taking measures to protect residents against bird flu and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

In the fall, Qatar also launched a vaccination drive for children after experiencing a new outbreak of measles.

The CDC also specializes in illnesses such as Tuberculosis (TB), hepatitis, influenza, leprosy and HIV.

CDC

The CDC officially opened in November, and is situated next to the new Hamad Bin Khalifa Medical City, a QR2.4 billion medical complex in Rumaila (central Doha).

The hospital has 65 single bedrooms, which can be converted into isolation units in the case of serious pandemics.

Kathea Pinto/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Each of the rooms has specially designed air filtration and ventilation systems to help patients whose immune systems have been compromised.

The CDC also offers outpatient clinics. Services include pre-marriage counseling and education for people who have infectious diseases.

Thoughts?

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Reem Saad / Doha News

Mouawad’s signature Flower of Eternity Jewellery Coffer

A $3.5 million gold jewelry box encrusted with diamonds, sapphires and rubies has been unveiled in Doha this week.

Certified by Guinness World Records as the world’s most valuable jewelry box, the piece made its Middle East debut at the annual Doha Jewellery & Watches Exhibition (DJWE).

The 14th edition of the event opened on Monday at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center in West Bay.

Reem Saad / Doha News

Mouawad’s signature Flower of Eternity Jewellery Coffer

In a statement, Swiss diamond house Mouawad said the Flower of Eternity Jewellery Coffer was made of 18-karat gold and silver.

It features white and yellow diamonds, white and pink sapphires and lapis lazuli and its three heart-shaped petals are meant to symbolize eternal love.

Mouawad also holds the record for world’s most valuable necklace ($55 million), handbag ($3.8 million) and lingerie (an $11 million bra), but these pieces are not on display in Doha.

Scaled down event

Notably, the jewelry box isn’t the most expensive thing on sale at the DJWE this week. For example, there are also three Girard Perregaux watches worth a combined $5 million.

A total of 400 luxury brands from 10 countries are exhibiting their wares at the expo this year.

All photos by Reem Saad

This appears to be scaled down from last year, when 500 of the world’s most exclusive brands from 17 countries participated.

However, for the first time this year, the work of young Qatari designers will be on display. And the exhibition will also feature a watch-making workshop by renowned clock experts Objectif Horlogerie.

DJWE runs until Saturday, Feb. 27 and is open from noon to 10pm every day except Friday. Friday’s hours will be from 4pm to 10pm.

Entry is free, but visitors are required to register onsite with their Qatar IDs or passports, or can save time by pre-registering online here.

As always, children below the age of 12 will not be allowed inside the venue.

Who’s going? Thoughts?

Doha News

A RAF prayer rug on Doha’s Corniche

A local charity is making it easier for people to pray on time while hanging out on the Corniche.

Muslim visitors will now be able to make use of several new roll-out prayer stations, courtesy of the Sheikh Thani Bin Abdullah Foundation for Humanitarian Services (RAF).

To protect them from the weather, the prayer carpets are kept in metal boxes. They can be wound in and out using a handle on the side.

Eid al-Adha 2015 in Abu Hamour

Chantelle D'mello / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Praying five times a day is an important tenet of Islam, and Muslims get extra credit for performing the daily prayers in congregation.

Speaking to the Peninsula this week, a spokesperson said that each prayer rug can accommodate up to 30 people at any one time.

They are also positioned so that worshippers face Makkah.

Social responsibility

According to RAF, a team from the charity’s New Life Center has been tasked with maintaining the carpets, and replacing them as and when necessary.

The unnamed official said that the prayer stations are just one of RAF’s “social responsibility” projects and aim to remind Muslims of the importance of praying on time and in groups.

Achmad Zakiri/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

In addition to its domestic projects, RAF has recently raised millions of riyals to fund the construction of mosques abroad.

In 2015, it put QR24m of donations to use building some 375 mosques in 23 countries on three continents.

The pullout prayer rugs are also located in some parks around town.

Have you seen and/or used them? Thoughts?

KaboomPics

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

A QR500 fine is not high enough to deter Qatar’s motorists from using their phones while driving, the country’s traffic police chief has said.

Speaking to local media yesterday, Brig. Mohammed Saad al Kharji added that plans are afoot to raise the penalty so that drivers take the offense more seriously.

He did not say how much higher the fee would be, however.

QNA

Head of the traffic department, Brig. Mohamed Saad Al Kharji

Currently, motorists can incur a QR500 ticket for “using or holding a mobile phone or any other device while driving or becoming busy watching any visual object from a television set in the vehicle,” the Qatar Tribune reports.

Regarding exceptions, a police officer previously said it is OK to use a phone if your vehicle has come to a complete stop at a red traffic light.

But if the car is moving or waiting to cross a roundabout or an intersection without a signal, even holding the phone is a traffic violation.

Big problem

Phone usage has been a widespread problem on Qatar’s roads for years.

Officials say motorists are no longer texting or talking so much.

Jan Persiel/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Instead, people taking selfies and using social media while driving were responsible for 80 percent of major accidents in Qatar in 2015.

However, better enforcement was cited as the reason for a drop in the overall number of traffic accidents and deaths last year.

But people still appear to be concerned about distracted driving.

A recent enforcement campaign over the summer came on the heels of an MOI survey that found 94 percent of people polled online were worried about mobile usage while driving.

Thoughts?