The United Nations agency announced on Friday that Covid-19 is no longer a public health emergency.
Qatar’s health sector stood up to the challenges posed by Covid-19 from the start of the outbreak and quickly became among the world’s “leading countries” in pandemic indicators, Doha’s health minister said on Sunday.
Speaking to the Qatar news agency (QNA) this week, the Gulf state’s Minister of Public Health Dr. Hanan Al Kuwari looked back on Doha’s efforts as the World Health Organization (WHO) downgraded the crisis from a global health emergency.
Reflecting on the previous challenging years, Dr. Al Kuwari praised the leadership of Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani in helping the country stay afloat during the crisis.
“We also emerged stronger and more resilient at the end of the pandemic despite the perils it brought,” Dr. Al Kuwari told QNA.
She said Doha has since been recognised “among the leading countries in the world in a number of key Covid-19 indicators.”
“For example, Qatar has one of the lowest Covid-19 mortality rates in the world thanks to highly effective medical care provided to patients with Covid-19 and to one of the highest vaccination rates in the world,” Dr. Al Kuwari explained.
WHO’s change in its Covid-19’s categorisation earlier this week came following a dramatic drop in pandemic-related deaths over the past 12 months. The organisation also said there has not been an emergence of concerning variants of Covid-19 since Omicron, which first appeared in 2022.
Despite this, WHO urged the international community to maintain gains made since the Covid-19 outbreak.
“States Parties should consider how to improve country readiness for future outbreaks[…]States Parties should continue to restore health programmes adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” it said on Friday.
According to WHO, there have been 506,323 confirmed Covid cases and 690 deaths between 3 January 2020 to 3 May 2023 in Qatar.
As of 29 April, Qatar administered 7,608,981 vaccine doses.