Qatar’s Minister of Public Health praises role of PHCC ‘Drive Through’ swabbing hubs in managing COVID-19 pandemic

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Minister of Public Health HE Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari has expressed her appreciation for Primary Health Care Centre’s (PHCC) proactive role in stemming the spread of coronavirus in Qatar,saying the swift establishment of ‘Drive Through’ swabbing hubs helped manage the outbreak.

On May 31, as part of the Ministry of Public Health’s (MoPH) efforts to control the COVID-19 pandemic, PHCC initiated three dedicated ‘Drive Through’ swabbing hubs at the Al Waab, Al Thumama, and Leabaib Health Centres, to assist with early detection.

On Tuesday, July 14, during a visit to the Al Waab Health Centre, HE Dr Al Kuwari received an overview from PHCC Managing Director Dr Mariam Ali Abdulmalik of the role of the ‘Drive Through’ swabbing hubs and their achievements.

The ‘Drive Through’ initiative required significant logistical preparations and capacity expansion, ranging from the availability of trained personnel to take accurate swabbing to the time required to delivering swabs to a laboratory for further analysis. 

To date, more than 14,236 appointments have been made, with 10679 attendance and swabbing performed.  

With a focus on vulnerable members of the community, the drive through testing focuses on ensuring the elderly and those with chronic conditions are prioritized. 

Her Excellency congratulated Primary Health Care Corporation for their hard work, she commented.

The Drive through testing service runs across 3 permanent sites with a fourth planned soon. The primary health center through a booking system invites all our high risk population to regularly check. 

We know that early diagnosis and timely management makes a big difference in the health outcomes. Our unique preventative approach to seek out our patients, test them and treat them early is one of the success factors of Qatar which has contributes to Qatar’s low mortality rate. 

We invite you to respond to the invitation when you get and ensure you are tested. Remember prevention is always better than cure… keep protected, keep your physical distances, wear your mask and wash your hands regularly.’ 

Dr Abdulmalik, managing director at PHCC, Corporation, said: ‘Operating the swabbing hubs on immediate notice has been a great accomplishment for PHCC, supporting the country increase daily testing capacity and proven to be an effective measure in suppressing the spread of the virus. The tireless work and dedication of the PHCC staff through this period, has helped early detection and the resultant containment of COVID-19. 

Positive diagnosis of patients in their early stages, especially those at higher risk, has helped treat them better, as well as ensuring the community is safer’ 

The ‘Drive Through’ swabbing hubs are accessible by invitation only. Patients will be contacted by telephone and receive an SMS appointment confirmation from PHCC with a date, time, slot, and location. They will be required to show their QID to verify their invitation on arrival 

Once swabbed, patients will receive results from MoPH by phone call if positive and by SMS if negative.

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