Covid-19 protocol on way at airport

Experts are drafting a medical protocol to be followed at Bahrain International Airport (BIA), as the country prepares to resume its air traffic operations after travel restrictions were put in place to fight the spread of Covid-19.

The National Taskforce for Combating Coronavirus is discussing its proposed recommendations with the Interior Ministry, Bahrain Airport Company and Gulf Air, revealed Health Ministry Under-Secretary Dr Waleed Al Manea.

Although Bahrain did not close its only airport following the outbreak of the virus, strict measures were put in place to secure the facility as early as February, when the country registered only 33 positive cases of Covid-19 which all appeared to involve passengers travelling from Iran on indirect flights.

“We have never had a complete closure of our airport at any point in time,” said Dr Al Manea.

“We had restricted flights from countries as and when needed, as part of efforts to limit the spread of the virus.

“Now as we are working towards opening the airport completely, like other countries around the world, we need to take necessary precautions.

“In this regard, the medical team is in discussion with Interior Ministry, Bahrain Airport Company and Gulf Air.

“Based on the outcome of these talks, the medical team will put its recommended protocols to be followed at BIA when we resume full operations, to ensure all necessary precautionary measures are in place.”

Dr Al Manea’s announcement came during the latest official Press conference on Covid-19, which also followed an announcement that Emirates would be resuming ‘full-fleet operations’ to the country with its flight EK839 landing on Monday.

On February 27 decontamination protocols were conducted at BIA to prevent the spread of the virus, and the biological disinfection process covered the arrival and departure halls, corridors, shuttle buses and airplanes, in order to control the spread of the virus.

The process was repeated with every new case arriving in Bahrain to ensure the areas remained free of the virus to stop the spread or transmission between passengers and airport employees.

The Interior Ministry Civil Defence’s Disinfection and Handling of Hazardous Substances Department, with its specialised team consisting of seven officers and three vehicles, remain present round the clock, in co-operation and co-ordination with the authorities concerned with the airport.

l National Taskforce for Combating Coronavirus member and Salmaniya Medical Complex Infectious and Internal Diseases consultant Dr Jameela Al Salman has urged the public to report even mild symptoms to check they haven’t fallen victim to Covid-19.

“It is not necessary that all the symptoms of the virus should be seen together,” she said.

“Even if you have the mildest of symptoms, like a fever or a cough, you can reach out to be checked. Early detection is important when it comes to both diagnosis and treatment.”

The GDN reported last month that the Health Ministry said four consecutive deaths reported during a 24-hour spell (May 30 to 31) were patients who did not report their symptoms when they first felt unwell.

To date Bahrain has recorded 21,331 cases including 5,481 active cases, 15,790 recoveries and 60 deaths.

 

Source: http://www.gdnonline.com/Details/825868/Covid-19-protocol-on-way-at-airport

 

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