Main lab ‘playing key role in Covid-19 fight’

BAHRAIN’S highly-acclaimed ‘excellent’ main health laboratory has identified up to 90 per cent ‘potentially positive’ coronavirus (Covid-19) cases, a government study has revealed.

This was among the many successful efforts by the country during the pandemic, which led to the World Health Organisation (WHO) praising the health sector ‘Bahraini model’, underscored the 2020-annual report of the Supreme Council for Health (SCH).

The ‘smart strategies and plans’ adopted and implemented by Team Bahrain, helped the country secure a place among global leaders in fighting the pandemic, it added.

“An examination by external experts from WHO rated 100 per cent ‘performance excellence’ for Bahrain’s Public Health Laboratory,” said the report.

“The high screening rate per 1,000 people, helped the laboratory in identifying up to 90pc potentially positive Covid-19 cases, ranking Bahrain amongst the top countries globally, in terms of screening, testing and treating.”

Bahrain’s success in combating Covid-19 has been attributed to its TTT policy – Trace, Test and Treat – a proven strategy which tracks people infected and traces their contacts, helping to reduce the spread of the virus.

The country was one of the first in the world to gear up in securing one million vaccines to be made available to all its people – as early as in August 2020, noted the report.

“The kingdom’s efforts culminated in WHO praising the model of its health sector for its exceptional success during this stage, calling on the countries across the world to take advantage of the Bahraini approach,” it added.

The smart measures helped Bahrain’s health sector record many achievements and successes during the year 2020, noted the SCH report. “At the local and international levels, the kingdom was among the top countries adhering to the epidemiological mechanisms which helped in monitoring the scientific indicators to measure the spread of the virus.

“This contributed to the development of permanent plans and smart strategies to reduce the spread, while dealing with the variables of the global epidemic,” it said citing the Health Ministry winning the Best Arab Government Project for Developing the Health Sector.

The GDN reported last year that Bahrain had scooped five prizes in the first edition of the Arab Government Excellence Awards. In a dedicated segment, the report detailed the efficient efforts of the task force, acknowledging its success.

“Under the SCH the task force set up many endeavours and efforts to contain this global epidemic which included daily meetings to follow up the implementation of national health strategies and plans,” said the report.

“The meetings discussed the latest developments among the quarantine cases, the health resources and medicines need and follow up at the air, land and sea ports.

“Among the others were daily follow-ups on mobile Covid-19 testing units and helping frontline workers including the emergency teams at the hospitals.

“The task force also efficiently dealt with cases reported among arrivals and evaluating and following up the protocols for the infected.”

Transparent communication, co-ordination with countries on regional and international developments and networking with international health regulators was also done in a timely and meritorious manner, added the report.

It also noted that the Bahraini successes and achievements featured on a number of international platforms including Statista, Our World in Data and others.

“During the month of December 2020, Bahrain was the first in the world in terms of vaccinating its people – both citizens and residents,” it said.

“Global indicators of public health measures in Bahrain showed that the percentage of recovery (99pc) was among the highest in the world while the death rate did not exceed 0.1pc, representing a minimum level of mortality.”

In his message SCH chairman Lieutenant Colonel Dr Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa said the year has been one of dedication to Bahrain and its people.

“Despite all global health challenges, SCH endeavoured to work on translating the aspirations of Bahrain’s leadership, aiming to provide comprehensive healthcare to people,” he said.

“This was evident in the kingdom’s dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, wherein it provided integrated health services ranging from testing, treatment, vaccination and medical care – free to all.

“Bahrain continued its efforts to limit the spread of the virus by doubling the reinforcement of all precautionary measures.”

The report also detailed other initiatives, including the national health insurance programme, autonomisation of government hospitals, treatment offered abroad and the various SCH committees and their responsibilities.




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