The number of infections among Qataris and expatriate families, especially children, adolescents and housewives, have increased in the past week in addition to cases recorded among domestic workers, a senior official has said.

This indicates that the virus is still present and it is not necessary that the infection is transmitted due to mixing outside, but one infected person can transmit the infection to family members at home and cause the spread of infection, according to Dr Hamad al-Romaihi, director of Health Protection and Communicable Disease Control at the Public Health Department and co-chair of the National Pandemic Preparation Committee.

He made the observations while speaking at a press conference organised by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Tuesday.

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Dr al-Romaihi said the number of infections witnessed a noticeable increase especially during Ramadan due to family gatherings, and the rise in the number of cases continues.

Meanwhile, he said the MoPH has formed several field teams for research and investigation to meet the requirements of comprehensive contact tracing, including pre-emptive exams. The teams include representatives from the MoPH, HMC and Primary Health Care Corporation as well as many volunteers

In this regard, he reviewed some of the numbers and statistics for close contact testing from April 18 to June 20, with the research and investigation teams examining 83,500 people – of whom 23,472 were positive cases, amounting to about 28%.

In April, the total number of examined cases reached 17,876, of which 4,125 – or around 23% – were positive cases, Dr al-Romaihi explained. In May, the teams tested 39,196 people of whom 12,116 were positive cases, amounting to 13%. From June 1 to 20, the teams examined 26,428 cases, of which 7,231 – or around 27% – were positive, the official Qatar News Agency reported.

Dr al-Romaihi pointed out that most of the positive cases did not show any symptoms, which reflects the effectiveness of the process of tracking contacts and the accuracy of identifying the contacts who are being tested.

He emphasized that after passing the peak period, there is a decrease in the total number of infections, including those requiring healthcare in a hospital and critical cases, but there has been no significant decrease in cases of infection between citizens and residents.