2 - Qatar Health 2021 Conference abstracts
  • ISSN: 1999-7086
  • EISSN: 1999-7094


: During the COVID-19 pandemic response, Qatar Gas implemented a multi-layer integrated physical barrier system in the field based on an interrelated meshwork of dimensions. It involved the utilization of fiberglass partitions, air purifiers, and dedicated transportation vehicles for suspected cases besides the traditional measures of physical distancing of at least 2 meters between employees, wearing face masks, and hand hygiene. : We evaluated the impact of these measures by comparing the prevalence of upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), other than COVID-19, compared to the same time the previous year. In addition, we compared the number of sick leave days issued in 2020 to those issued during the previous year in the same time period and after stratification of other confounding or contributing factors. : Mechanistic studies found that surgical masks could prevent transmission of human coronavirus and in-fluenza virus infections if worn by infected persons1. The number of other URTIs were statistically significantly lower after COVID-19 prevention measures were implemented (Figures 1 and 2)2. A simultaneous significant decline in the number of sick leaves issued (51.7% decline) was observed over the same period of the decline of URTI visits (sick leave rate declined from 1.3% in 2019 to 0.77% in 2020, value ≤  0.05) (Figure 1). : A clinically and statistically significant decline was observed in the incidence of URTI cases and the rate sick leaves between 2019 and 2020. This observation correlates with the start of the implementation of COVID-19 preventive measures. We recommend to consider continuation of the same precautionary measures as far as reasonably applicable, for critical workers in the field.


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  1. Chiang C, Chiang C, Chiang C, Chen Y. The Practice of Wearing Surgical Masks during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Emerg Infect Dis. 2020; 26:(8):1962.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Lee H, Lin S. Effects of COVID-19 Prevention Measures on Other Common Infections, Taiwan. Emerg Infect Dis. 2020; 26:(10):2509–2511.
    [Google Scholar]

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  • Article Type: Conference Abstract
Keyword(s): barriersCOVID-19distancephysical and URTI
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