The respiratory tract infection has impacted individuals all over the globe. With 724,759 cases and 34000+ deaths, the virus continues to haunt people. Coronavirus originated in China and now has forced multiple countries to go into lockdown; shutting down shops, schools, offices and halting flights. In Qatar 634 people have been infected, only 48 of which have recovered. The number is anticipated to multiply over time. The Qatari government has closed the borders, instructed and has encouraged people to self-quarantine. To promote social distancing, all entertainment, educational and food institutions have closed down. Children are being homeschooled through online resources and people have started working remotely.
What changes have taken place?
Amid this chaos, several changes have been made to Qatar’s healthcare system. All scheduled doctor appointments except Well-baby, vaccination, urgent radiology and ultrasound appointments have been canceled by PHCC (Primary Health Care Corporation). As listed on their official website, further changes are as follows:
- All walk-in and urgent units will be operating as normal.
- PHCC’s six urgent care centers – at Gharrafat Al Rayyan, Rawdat Al Khail, Al Gharafa, Al Kaaban, Al Shahaniyah, and Al Shamal Health Centers will remain open as usual for 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
- All patients with scheduled outpatient appointments will continue to receive a consultation by the doctors. However, all outpatient appointments will be delivered via telephone consultations. Therefore, patients should not come into the hospital. If during the telephone consultation the doctor deems that the patient needs to come in to see them, the doctor will arrange for a new appointment within a day.
- All elective surgeries, day surgeries, elective procedures like endoscopy and dental treatments have been canceled. Canceled surgeries will be rescheduled for a later date.
- From 13 March 2020, visitors are limited to first and second-degree relatives only, one at a time, and for a maximum of 15 minutes.
- Patients are reminded that HMC’s Emergency Departments are for urgent and life-threatening conditions only. Patients with urgent, but non-life threatening, conditions can visit these PHCC’s Urgent Care Clinics 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
- HMC’s Ambulance Service continues to operate as normal, providing 24/7 medical services to patients with medical emergencies requiring immediate attention and transfer to an emergency department.
How do I schedule an appointment now that my previous one has been canceled?
You can easily book an appointment online with ease here. You also have the option to filter the doctors based on reviews, insurance, and your location. Given below are the links to Qatar’s top private healthcare specialists who can examine, diagnose and treat you at once.
Dr. Samar Ali Mahmoud -Royal Medical Center (Al Gharrafa)
Dr. Inna Gaponko - West Bay Medicare
Dr. Fuad Alzuabi - Alahmadani Medical Center
2. Obstetrician and Gynecologist
Dr. Sonia Abu Saba - Al Emadi Hospital (Al Hilal)
Prof. Dr. Shawki ElMoursi - Rayhan Medical Complex
Dr. Emmanuel Tolessa - DOC Medical Center
Dr. Ghassan Zeinadeen - West Bay Medicare
Dr. Ramzi El-Bishara - Al Emadi Hospital Clinic
Dr. Yasser Abbass - Royal Medical Center (Al Gharrafa)
Ms. Laurena Moore - The International Medical Centre
9. Internal Medicine
Dr. Mohammad Asha - Mohamad Amine Zbeib Polyclinic
Prof. Dr. Tawhid Mowafy - Rayhan Medical Complex
Mr. Tim van Hoorn - The International Physiotherapy Centre (Al Waab)
Ms. Pauline Genevrios - The International Physiotherapy Centre (Markhiya)
Dr. Ghassan Hommos - Al Emadi Hospital (Al Hilal)
Zahra Kabbani - Al-Ahli Hospital
Bisma Sikander - Naseem Al Rabeeh Medical Centre (D-Ring Road)
Norman Bisenio - Alahmadani Medical Center
How else can I prepare for the lockdown?
With all these regulations in place, confusion has cluttered the minds of residents. Here’s your ultimate guide to preparing yourself for the lockdown.
1. Have a family meeting.
Gather all your family and discuss the crisis. Make sure that you’re all on the same page. Do not panic. Half the world is going through the same problem. Discuss everyone’s schedules and address all concerns. There should be no chaos. You’re not allowed to step outside of the house but that doesn’t mean that you’re not productive inside the house. Take out time to thank God for being safe and healthy. If there are children in the house who are upset about not going to school or being let out to play, educate them about the happenings. Make sure that the information you’re reading yourself and passing on is authentic and not just anything on the internet.
2. Set up a structure for everyone to follow.
Children still need to study online, you need to do your work, and your partner probably needs to complete the house chores. Set up a structure and rules for everyone to abide by now that everyone is under one roof. You can display the schedules on the refrigerator and other places so that everyone is on track. If you easily get distracted, replicate your work environment in a separate room. If the children seem to talk to each other rather than complete their homework, separate them as well. You’re all in this together! This also means helping around the house with dishes, cleaning, and washing, etc. It is the perfect time to do all those indoor activities which were forever pending due to busy schedules.
3. Stock up but don’t go crazy.
Videos of the world going bonkers over toilet rolls and sanitizers are circulating the internet. He who provided you food and shelter yesterday will provide you with more tomorrow too. Purchase your daily essentials but make sure that you don’t go overboard. You cannot possibly be at peace with a wardrobe full of tissue roll or snack bars with your neighbor going haywire looking for some. Of course, if individuals in your family suffer from a lifelong disease such as diabetes that requires constant medication, you can get an adequate amount of medication for emergencies. A pro tip from Qatari moms is to freeze vegetables, snacks, fruits, and gravies because who says dinner can’t be fun when you can’t go out on a fast-food run?
4. Stay physically active.
It is easy to keep lying around and accomplishing your tasks however the body needs its fuel. Create a healthy regime for the family. Workout using Zumba or exercise videos together, do yoga or play with the children outside. This will only build more immunity to fight off any germs in the body.
5. Plan out your entertainment.
Long holidays even with tasks to perform and children around can get tedious and challenging. Imagine that you’re on a spring break, only it’s longer with restrictions. Adventurous, right? From family movie Sundays and board games to book reading, and just you catching up on your Netflix shows, do it all. Relax and go easy on yourself. Staying under one roof doesn’t necessarily mean staying together all the time. Have your me-time as well.
6. Practice good hygiene.
This is probably the most important point of all. Make cleaning, disinfecting and hand-washing a habit. Live in a germ-free environment and teach your children to do the same.
Check up on your relatives and keep updated with the news. If you feel anxious and isolated, don’t be ashamed of seeking professional help. Long before our ancestors were told to literally battle in tough times, and we’re being confined inside our houses. Come on, we can do this!
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