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Drug Trials for Covid-19

“It will be important to get answers quickly, to try to find out what works and what doesn’t work. We think that randomized evidence is the best way to do that.”

Ana Maria Henao Restrepo, World Health Organization

WHO Praises Qatar

World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has lauded the efforts made by Qatar “to implement a comprehensive approach to control Covid-19”.

In a tweet on Thursday, Dr Ghebreyesus said he had a “good call” with HE the Minister of Public Health Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari.

He congratulated her for His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani’s leadership to contain the novel coronavirus and the efforts made to implement a comprehensive approach to suppress and control Covid-19.

Meanwhile, HE Dr al-Kuwari visited the Covid-19 Surveillance Unit amid the ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in Qatar, the MoPH tweeted on Thursday.

“The team at the Surveillance Unit, based at the Ministry of Public Health, has been continuously monitoring the epidemiological situation since the outbreak of Covid-19 in China. The unit is working to proactively identify people in Qatar who may have been in contact with confirmed cases of Covid-19,” the MoPH said.

“Once identified, these people are placed under quarantine – to prevent possible further spread – and tested to determine their status,” it added.

On Wednesday, HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani, who is also chairman of the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management, visited Hamad International Airport and directed the officials concerned to quickly implement the required measures for the health and safety of citizens and residents returning to Qatar.

The Prime Minister’s visit and subsequent directives came after several observations were made regarding the completion of procedures for receiving citizens and residents returning to the country, including the procedures for transferring them to quarantine to protect them from Covid-19.

MOPH Website Qatar

How Social distancing helps

What is “flattening the curve” and how does social distancing help?

“Flattening the curve” is an expression used to explain how slowing the exponential growth in a disease’s spread can allow a country’s health system to better cope with the surge in cases so that it isn’t overwhelmed.

While the novel coronavirus pandemic might eventually infect a majority of people in the United States, the speed at which the outbreak spreads makes a huge difference in health outcomes. What epidemiologists fear is that the U.S. health system would become overwhelmed by a sudden surge that requires more people to be hospitalized than can be handled, both from a personnel and equipment standpoint. In a scenario of uncontrolled growth, more people would die simply because there might not be enough doctors, nurses, hospital beds or ventilators for people who need them.

“If you look at the curves of outbreaks, they go big peaks, and then come down. What we need to do is flatten that down,” said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 

Flattening the curve means that the social distancing measures being deployed in places like Italy and South Korea and now in the United States aren’t so much about preventing illness but rather slowing down the rate at which people get sick, according to Vox.

Without any measures to slow it down, COVID-19 will spread exponentially for months. An interactive simulation by the Washington Post shows how the spread can be slowed by use of “social distancing,” avoiding public spaces and large group gatherings that can increase the rapid spread of COVID-19. 

Janet Moore contributed to this report. This article also includes information from the Washington Post and Associated Press.
Star tribune.com