Bahrain experts back coronavirus risk list

ATTENDING a funeral, wedding or a religious service could pose a bigger Covid-19 threat than walking into a restaurant for a takeaway, cites a global analysis.

The Texas Medical Association’s (TMA) Covid-19 Task Force has ranked several daily activities on the basis of risks associated with exposure to the coronavirus.

While opening a mail is the lowest risk activity with a ranking of one, attending a concert or visiting a sports stadium poses the highest risk with a ranking of nine.

TMA Task Force member Dr Ogechika Alozie, however, reiterated that “a risk, no matter how low, is still a risk”, which was echoed by Bahraini health experts.

They said it was worth following the chart although it did not have a scientific backing.

“I think it is reasonable to follow the chart. Although it may not have a 100 per cent scientific backing, it may help to prevent the spread to some extent,” Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) accident and emergency chief resident Dr P V Cheriyan told the GDN.

“Now we are passing through a period of experience and experiments – some may prove useful in the long run.

“Since there are no proven medicines or vaccines yet, there is no harm in following it.”

According to the TMA chart which has gone viral on social media, picking up a takeaway for dinner poses less risk compared with dining in at a restaurant. However, it adds that the latter is less risky than having dinner at a friend’s house.

Playing tennis, grocery shopping, waiting at the doctor’s or a library, walking down a town and half-an-hour at the playground are ranked two to four, at low to moderate risk.

Going to beach, school, working at office for a week, swimming in public and visiting an elderly relative could pose moderate risk, says the chart which ranks these between five and six.


“Beyond the chart, once you leave the house, there is a risk and personal protection is mandatory,” said American Mission Hospital (AMH) general practitioner Dr Babu Ramachandran.

“Social distancing is mandatory. Even when you go to pick your child from school, it is best advised that you don’t go inside, it’s safer to get the child outside.”

Visiting hair salons, barber shops, attending weddings or funerals, travelling by airplane, playing outdoors or hugging/shaking hands are moderate-high risk activities as they are ranked seventh on the list.

“Salons are definitely risky, but we must appreciate the way they operate in Bahrain, with all hygiene and health safety regulations,” added Dr Ramachandran.

“So are hospitals – we at the AMH ensure the place is sterilised and disinfected – so it is up to the country and its public to limit the spread.

“Wherever we go in the present situation, let’s wear face masks and hand gloves.”

On the highest risk list with rankings of eight and nine are gyms, movie theatres, sports stadium, music concerts and religious services with more than 500 worshippers.

A team of 15 Texas doctors prepared the chart and published it in collaboration with the TMA Committee of Infectious Diseases.





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