Dr Abdul Wahab al-Musleh, the Adviser to the Minister of Public Health for Sports Affairs, confirmed that Qatar was able, in all sporting events it hosted during the recent period, especially the ongoing FIFA Club World Cup 2020, to protect its participants from infection with the novel coronavirus (Covid-19). He further pointed to the provision of comprehensive medical services for the participants in the World Cup at their residence, training or stadiums as well as on-field services and ambulance services around the clock.
While speaking to Qatar News Agency (QNA), al-Musleh said that Covid-19 rate of infection in Qatar in general is 2%, but during the matches of the West and East regions of the AFC Champions League recently hosted in Doha, it was at 0.5%. The latter is the same percentage now during the FIFA Club World Cup after 12,000 examinations were conducted for the participating teams, escorts, and the teams working in the tournament. This also includes the 10,000 fans that were examined for the first two matches.
He further elucidated that the application of the medical bubble system in sporting events has succeeded greatly. These have been applied at the Judo World Masters, the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers, the Katara International Arabian Horse Festival as well as many other sport and non-sport events that require to be approved and monitored by the Ministry of Public Health in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Qatar’s success in controlling the pandemic and the expanded medical bubble system applied to the FIFA Club World Cup is one of the main reasons for FIFA’s approval to hold the FIFA Club World Cup in February after it was scheduled for December 2020, indicating that FIFA officials were impressed and praised the system during daily meetings that take place on the sidelines of the tournament to discuss the health conditions of the participating delegations, the adviser said.
He explained that the health bubble system includes all participants in the FIFA Club World Cup clubs, including players, coaches, officials, administrators, escorts, organisers and service workers, whether in stadiums or hotels, as it was confirmed that everyone was free from Covid-19 infection after undergoing an examination.
Al-Musleh has emphasized on the importance of implementation of strict precautionary measures during the FIFA Club World Cup, covering all activities and groups, whether outside or inside the stadium, including observing the social distance of one and a half metres in the fans’ seats, the obligation to wear a mask and a plastic face cover in the stands, thermal detection and sterilizers, and the media not approaching the players. In addition, a negative examination will allow its holder to attend the event within three days, and then a new examination will be required to attend another event.
It was noted that Ministry of Health is carrying out huge numbers of tests for the community, which had reached in previous periods 20,000 per day.
Al-Musleh added that the commitment of the participants as well as the fans in the FIFA Club World Cup is noteworth, calling on them to continue adhering to all health measures and procedures applied during matches, especially with regard to social distancing, wearing masks and a plastic cover and commitment to the seats allocated to each fan in order to preserve the safety of everyone in particular and society in general.
Source : Cover