Posted on January 18, 2019

The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has cautioned citizens and residents, especially asthma patients, people suffering from chest diseases and the elderly, against direct exposure to dust during the current wave of dust. The ministry stressed the readiness of health centres and hospitals to receive people in the event of any symptoms of respiratory sensitivity caused by the dusty weather.

Earlier on Thursday, Qatar Meteorology Department warned of strong winds in most areas and low horizontal visibility onshore, strong winds and high waves offshore, and clouds of dust blowing in some areas. The Ministry of Public Health also urged citizens and residents to take precautionary measures to avoid any health risks that may result from these weather conditions and to ensure that the doors and windows are close tightly to prevent dust from entering into the buildings.

The ministry also cautioned people against going out into the open areas during strong winds and low visibility due to dust in the air, urging them to wash the face, nose and mouth repeatedly to prevent dust from reaching the lungs, and to wear a protective mask or to use wet paper towels with water to cover the nose and mouth, and avoid rubbing eyes to avoid inflammation. The ministry also advised drivers to close the windows while driving, with the possibility of operating the air conditioner at an appropriate temperature if needed. It further urged thorough cleaning of houses, especially bedrooms, blankets and mattresses.

The Ministry of Public Health has also advised people who work in the open to alternate shifts in order to reduce exposure to dust and to wear masks to protect the respiratory system. The ministry stressed the need to start using preventive prescribed drugs for people vulnerable to severe allergic diseases, even before showing symptoms of allergies. It also called on people who have recently undergone eye or nose surgeries to avoid exposure. Dust and fine airborne solid particles can enter the lungs causing some health risks such as infections, sinus and respiratory allergies, and can also trigger allergies and cause asthma.