Concerns of a third COVID wave increase as health officials in Qatar cancel holidays for doctors and medics.
The Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) sent out a circulation on Tuesday canceling all current and future vacations for several categories of its employees.
According to the statement, those impacted by the decision include nurses, laboratories workers, radiologists, pharmacists, and workers in facilities directly related to dealing with or treating COVID-19 cases.
This decision comes amid a noticeable rise in Covid-19 cases among residents and visitors especially after the spread of the latest Omicron varient.
The PHCC’s decision is being seen as a measure to contain the spread of the virus and ensure that there are enough doctors and nurses available to treat people if indeed a major wave of infections hits Qatar.
Among social media users, many believe the Gulf nation is already in the midst of a third wave, linking the sudden rise in numbers to Qatar’s hosting of the ‘Arab Cup 2021’ where huge crowds gathered both in the stadia and on public transport. The fact that football fans had to present negative PCR tests and their Ehteraz to enter a stadium, may have reduced the size of the current outbreak, but according to experts did not completely rule out the possibility of the virus spreading.
The Arab cup hosted over 700 thousand spectators, a significant number of them flying in from abroad and a sizeable amount below the age of 12 meaning they were unvaccinated. Doha was also host to several other social events throughout the past two months, including the International Food Festival, Air-Balloon Festival, live concerts, not to mention National Day celebrations.
Despite the role which such gathering play in spreading the virus, health officials in Qatar said earlier this month that the increase in infection rate was due to the ‘negligence by people’ who have let go of Covid-19 measures set by authorities.
Some social media users have expressed their opposition at both the messaging from the Health Ministry and this latest decision to cancel holidays for medical staff.
There is a belief among many that despite doctors and nurses forming the front line in the fight against COVID, they have not been rewarded accordingly and are now being forced to cancel their vacations.