Pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19: Implications for control measures in Qatar

Abdelaziz M Tawe Ngi, Samantha Johnston, Soha Shawqi Albayat, Devendra Bansal, Shazia Ahmed, Mohamed A Sallam, Hamad Eid Al-Romaihi, Mohammed Al-Thani, Elmoubasher Farag, Mohamed M Emara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Public health control measures for communicable diseases are often based on the identification of symptomatic cases. However, emerging epidemiological evidence demonstrates the role of pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic transmissions of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Understanding high-risk settings where transmissions can occur from infected individuals without symptoms has become critical for improving the response to the pandemic. In this review, we discussed the evidence on the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2, its effect on control strategies, and lessons that can be applied in Qatar. Although Qatar has a small population, it has a distinct setting for COVID-19 control. It has a largely young population and is mostly composed of expatriates particularly from the Middle East and Asia that reside in Qatar for work. Further key considerations for Qatar and travel include population movement during extended religious holiday periods, screening and tracing of visitors and residents at entry points into the country, and expatriates living and working in high-density settings. We also consider how its international airport serves as a major transit destination for the region, as Qatar is expected to experience a rapid expansion of visitors while preparing to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59
JournalQatar Medical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


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