Rehan Ali Syed
Rehan Ali Syed
Qatar authorities have been taking a “proactive approach” in addressing the health concerns, safety, and well-being of its citizens and the diverse expatriate communities in the country amid issues related to Covid-19, a stakeholder in the travel industry has said.
“This is evident in monitoring passengers at the airport, ports, or other points of entry and the authorities involved in the campaign must be commended,” said Al Tawfeeq Travel country head – Qatar Rehan Ali Syed.
Citing the cruise industry, Syed said that as early as February thermal cameras have been in place at the Doha Port terminal. Similar monitoring instruments were also installed at Hamad International Airport and “other points of entry,” he also said.
“So, that shows the proactive approach that Qatar authorities have taken; and this is also for the well-being of the residents and citizens of the country, which is why these efforts to ensure proper safety and security are praiseworthy,” Syed told Gulf Times.
Asked about the impact of the temporary suspension of flights from 14 countries on the local tourism industry, Syed pointed out that the decision made by Qatar “was necessary.”
“Even if there is a temporary suspension of flights, these are precautions that we need to take. And again, these steps are for the well-being and safety of the residents and citizens of the country, so I don’t see any issue with that. We should be happy that the government is taking the call in ensuring the safety of the people in Qatar.
“Initially, there would be a decline in tourists. However, this is a major global concern, so that does not put Qatar in isolation. But I believe that travel is inherent to human nature and eventually it will pick-up. Temporarily, there will be a fall in tourists coming to the country but in these times, it is for the safety of everybody,” Syed emphasized.
He continued: “In the past, we’ve encountered other forms of global health issues like SARS and MERS, as well as incidents like 9/11 where for two or three months many people were not traveling. But things will get better in time. That’s the way it is; it is a temporary phase.”
Syed also urged the public to refrain from posting unconfirmed reports about Covid-19 to avoid creating panic and confusion.
“Spreading fear and unconfirmed reports online is irresponsible because these rumours create unnecessary panic… if we all understand and want to support the country in a better way, we have to accept the gravity of the situation. And the most important thing to do is to advocate safety and precaution to avoid unnecessary panic and confusion,” he added.