As Covid-19 cases significantly drop in Qatar, the Surgical Specialty Center (SSC) has become among the first Covid-19 facility to discharge all its coronavirus patients.
Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) announced on Sunday that its Surgical Specialty Center (SSC) discharged its last Covid-19 patient and started to prepare for a return to usual operations.
The facility was one of seven HMC facilities designated as a Covid-19 centre to help authorities deal the second coronavirus wave, and has successfully treated hundreds of patients in recent weeks.
“Over the past six weeks, we have treated 709 patients with Covid-19 in the Surgical Specialty Center – with 337 acute admissions and 372 admissions to ICU,” HMC’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Abdulla Al Ansari said.
“This has required the combined efforts of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, infection control teams, housekeeping, information technology, engineering, therapists, logistics, human resources and administrative staff to name just a few. I am truly honoured to call these dedicated staff my colleagues; they are all healthcare heroes,” he added.
“Since being designated as a Covid-19 facility at the end of March, more than 600 staff have been working around the clock to provide expert medical care to patients. Providing treatment to patients with Covid-19 requires extraordinary teamwork and involves staff from a wide range of roles to all play their part,” Dr. Al Ansari noted.
Minister of Public Health Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari visited Hamad General Hospital’s SSC to mark the occasion.
“The designation of the Surgical Specialty Center as a Covid-19 facility has been an important element of our strategy that has enabled us to significantly expand hospital capacity throughout this second wave,” Dr. Al Kuwari said.
“With the new variants from the UK and South Africa causing more severe symptoms than the original strain last year, at the peak of the second wave more people required hospital admission than during the first wave,” Dr. Al Kuwari added, highlighting the SSC’s important role throughout the pandemic.
“Despite this increased demand for hospital care, I am incredibly proud of the efforts of all our healthcare staff for their hard work and commitment which has meant that every patient requiring treatment for Covid-19 has been able to access the care they require without delay,” she added.
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The welcome news comes as Qatar continues to witness significant decrease in Covid-19 cases over the past few weeks. On Monday, the numbers dropped to 302 positive cases in the last 24 hours, with a total of 5,157 active cases.
“With the number of new daily Covid-19 cases continuing to fall in recent weeks, there are now significantly fewer patients in need of hospital care and we can gradually begin to return some of the Covid-19 facilities to their normal operations. However, our fight against Covid-19 is not yet over and it is important that people continue to follow the preventive measures and get vaccinated when their turn comes,” Dr. Al Kuwari stated.
During her visit to the SCC, Dr. Al Kuwari met with Hamad Al Mahmoud and Habeeb Amjad, two recovered Covid-19 patients who had been admitted to the facility due to the severity of their symptoms.
The Qatari official also met with staff from the SSC, including doctors, nurses and support staff to hear about their experience of working at the centre throughout the pandemic.
The minister presented a plaque of appreciation to staff as a formal mark of thanks to all the doctors, nurses and support staff at the Center for their commitment and hard work throughout the health crisis.
Now, only six facilities under Hamad General Hospital are designated for acute Covid-19 cases: Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital, Communicable Disease Center, The Cuban Hospital, Ras Laffan Hospital, Mesaieed Hospital and Al Wakra Hospital.