There are programs under development to provide vaccination for all the attendees of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said on Friday.
"We will be able, hopefully, to host it as a Covid-free event," he told the Raisina Dialogue, hosted virtually by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation.
"We have been negotiating and talking to the vaccination providers on how we can make sure that everyone attending the World Cup is vaccinated.
"Also I think this is a great opportunity for the world when it will be the first happy event that will take place after this pandemic," HE Sheikh Mohamed stated.
"Qatar is well prepared to demonstrate for the world that we can host such an event (2022 World Cup) and have it hopefully in-person and this is our plan from the beginning."
HE the Foreign Minister underlined that Qatar, from the beginning, wanted to make sure, even with the continuation of the pandemic, to know how to host a successful World Cup with a physical presence so that people could attend and enjoy the event.
"I think one of the important elements that Qatar has made is its commitment to the world, for example, Hamad International Airport remained open to travelers who want to transit. Qatar Airways participated very actively in the repatriation of citizens from different countries, and we also provided our support, especially in the first days when we had those issues in providing ventilators, masks, etc, and there was a shortage of these materials in the market," he said.
HE the Foreign Minister noted that Qatar's support extended to nearly 50 countries, in addition to its active participation in the Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) initiative, adding: "We tried to address it in a 360-view so addressing the global issue and responding as a responsible member in the international community, being responsible for our own community, by making sure that our health care system is resilient, and our economy can stand in the face of this crisis."
HE Sheikh Mohamed affirmed that Qatar has made an effort to ensure the minimum negative impact from this pandemic. The first priority was to ensure its health care system is resilient, so when the pandemic started last year, Qatar developed plans to ensure providing the maximum care by health care teams to the people.
"Qatar has the minimum fatality rate in the world, by ensuring that we are not overloading our health care system and always have enough spaces to hospitalize people and also moving forward by testing in advance and taking random samples from different communities," he explained.
HE the Foreign Minister pointed out that the state provided stimulus packages like last year, starting with a package of $20bn for soft loans, and some industry loans, energy fees, and so on was ceded to companies, adding that the state reviews these packages every six months, to provide such a package when needed.
"When the pandemic started, everyone expected that it will end by 2021 and that all events will return to normal, but not yet, the world is still facing some mutated strains of Covid-19, which made it a bit difficult.
"The countries of the world responded to the pandemic differently this year than last year as they have learned from previous mistakes.
"The good thing in Qatar is, we did not take the extreme measure of lockdowns, yet we made sure that we are taking extreme measures of social distancing, making people wear masks mandatory, and having strict rules for public places and gatherings. "These measures made Qatar maintain the numbers related to this pandemic and randomized test samples also allowed us to isolate infected people from healthy people," he pointed out.
The Raisina Dialogue is a multilateral conference committed to addressing the most challenging issues facing the global community.
The 6th Edition of the prestigious event, being held from Tuesday, concluded yesterday. The theme was "#ViralWorld: Outbreaks, Outliers and Out of Control”.
Earlier, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a video address at the inaugural session of the Raisina Dialogue, along with chief guests Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda and Mette Frederiksen, Prime Minister of Denmark.
Modi observed that the current edition of the Raisina Dialogue was taking place at a watershed moment in human history in the backdrop of Covid-19 pandemic which has been ravaging the world for more than a year, the Indian embassy in Qatar said in a statement.
The prime minister called upon the global community to introspect on some pertinent questions in the present context.
Modi emphasised that global systems should adapt themselves, in order to address the underlying causes and not just the symptoms. The prime minister called for "keeping humanity at the centre of our thoughts and action, and creating systems that address the problems of today and the challenges of tomorrow."
He elaborated upon India’s pandemic response efforts, both domestically as well as in form of assistance to other countries. Modi also called for joint efforts to meet the varied challenges posed by the pandemic and reiterated that India would share its strengths for global good, the statement added.
© Gulf Times Newspaper 2021