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Audit of Infectious Disease Medical Treatment Capabilities at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar (DODIG-2021-040)

Audit

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Publicly Released: December 23, 2020

Objective

The objective of this audit was to determine whether Al Udeid Air Base (AUAB), Qatar, had the capabilities to treat coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) patients and isolate or quarantine suspected infected service members, civilians, and contractors.

Background

On March 11, 2020, the Director-General of the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. On March 20, 2020, the AUAB Installation Commander declared a public health emergency at AUAB due to COVID-19. AUAB supports multiple theaters of operation across the United States Central Command area of responsibility, including Iraq and Afghanistan. The 379th Expeditionary Medical Group (EMDG) provides medical care for personnel on AUAB. The 379th EMDG provides care and executes operations specific to COVID-19, including isolation and quarantine operations, aeromedical evacuation, COVID-19 training for medical staff, and maintaining equipment and supply levels.

Finding

The 379th EMDG had the capabilities to treat COVID-19–infected patients and isolate or quarantine suspected infected service members, civilians, and contractors. Specifically, the 379th EMDG developed COVID-19 response plans, established procedures to screen AUAB personnel attempting to enter the DoD medical treatment facility, and initiated C OVID-19 testing. In addition, the 379th EMDG conducted COVID-19 treatment training and had the recommended medical equipment to treat COVID-19 patients. Furthermore, the 379th EMDG increased its on‑hand inventory of personal protective equipment supplies to protect its staff and acquired COVID-19 test kits to detect infected service members, civilians, and contractors.

As a result, the 379th EMDG was able to quickly identify COVID-19 patients at AUAB, expedite restriction of movement measures, and conduct contact tracing to prevent the spread of the virus throughout AUAB. In addition, the personnel who tested positive for the virus recovered and returned to duty. Furthermore, no 379th EMDG personnel contracted COVID-19 while treating the personnel who tested positive for virus.

This report is a result of Project No. D2020-D000RJ-0135.000.