Crucial two weeks ahead for Bahrain

THE NEXT two weeks are crucial for Bahrain, as the kingdom battles a spike in the number of daily coronavirus (Covid-19) cases, with experts urging members of the public to strictly ‘stay at home’.

Members of the medical team yesterday once again called on citizens and residents ‘not to be reckless’, citing family gatherings as among the main reasons for the increase in the number of cases in the last eight days.

They were addressing an online Press conference, where they insisted that the public should ‘stay at home for the next two weeks’ to help the team get the number of cases back on the recovery road.

Health Ministry Under-Secretary Dr Waleed Al Manea underlined that the public attitude that ‘things have become normal’ led to a worrying recent increase in cases.

“Unfortunately we have witnessed a leap in the number of active cases,” he said.

“The reasons for the increase in cases are due to the different gatherings, the laxity in applying precautionary measures and the feeling that things have become ‘normal’.

“Contract tracing has showed that family gatherings and negligence have led to this rise.

“We, as a medical team, call on all members of society, each from its position, to stay away from gatherings during the next two weeks.

“We urge all to adhere to the precautionary measures and to work to reduce the prevalence rates to the required levels at what we were previously.”

Dr Al Manea also revealed that the medical team was becoming ‘exhausted’ and again called on people to act responsibly. He also empathised that the team had plans in place to cover all circumstances as indicators were closely monitored.

“Based on our observations we will go ‘strict’ or otherwise, as needed,” he said. “In case of any recklessness, or increase in numbers, we have plans in place – but this will impact all, as in the capacity of facilities and staff.

“The medical team gets exhausted. People must be responsible – it costs them nothing to follow the health guidelines.”

National Taskforce for Combating Coronavirus (Covid-19) monitoring committee head Lieutenant Colonel Dr Manaf Al Qahtani also reiterated that gatherings ‘of whatever type’ had led to a spike in the number of cases.

“Gatherings, whatever their type, cause, or venue, led to an increase in the number of cases due to a failure to follow necessary precautionary measures,” he said.

“I ask all members of society to unite by giving a commitment to avoid gatherings during the next two weeks and to abide by all the precautionary measures introduced to reduce the rate of the virus’ spread.

“This is not a time to be reckless but to collaborate for the safety of our families, society and the country.”

Taskforce member and Salmaniya Medical Complex Infectious and Internal Diseases consultant Dr Jameela Al Salman echoed similar concerns, cautioning against ‘any breach of social responsibility’ that could lead to a further spike in cases.

“Any breach of social responsibility by not adhering to the precautionary measures will lead to a further spread of infection amongst the community,” she said.

“Gatherings, regardless of venues or objectives, and negligence are among the main causes for the increase in numbers.

“This increase may lead to a slowdown in the implementation of the established plans put in place to curb the spread of the virus, which is something we do not wish to happen.

“I call on all members of the community to avoid gatherings during the next two weeks to reduce the number of positive cases.”

The GDN reported yesterday that Bahrain has witnessed a steady rise in the number of registered cases of Covid-19, according to official statistics. Over the last six days, the number of new patients has shot up with 626 cases on Thursday, 662 on Friday, 676 on Saturday, 644 on Sunday, 661 on Monday, and 702 on Tuesday.




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