Negligence ‘led to surge in cases’

RECKLESSNESS and non-compliance with health safety guidelines and precautionary measures has once again led to a surge in coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in Bahrain, a top official has said.

Health Ministry Under-Secretary Dr Waleed Al Manea pointed out that the recent spread of infection has been mainly among Bahrainis as a result of family and social gatherings during Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr.

The number of cases among citizens had gone from 16 on April 16 to 179 on Tuesday, he said.

Dr Al Manea was addressing an online Press conference yesterday from the Crown Prince Centre for Training and Medical Research at the BDF Hospital.

Also taking part were National Taskforce for Combating Coronavirus (Covid-19) monitoring committee head Lt Col Dr Manaf Al Qahtani and taskforce member and Salmaniya Medical Complex Infectious and Internal Diseases consultant Dr Jameela Al Salman.

“The reason for the high number of cases in the past few days was due to lack of adherence to instructions, and negligence in the proper application of preventive measures,” said Dr Al Manea.

“Family gatherings during Ramadan and for Eid, and majlises within families have led to the increase in numbers.


“We reiterate the importance of limiting gatherings, to families living in the same house, not going out except in case of extreme necessity, wearing face masks and adhering to social distancing.”

The GDN reported last month that the infection had spread to 32 people from a single contact (case number 2930) because the Bahraini family had failed to comply with the measures aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19.

Dr Al Manea urged people to “be responsible”, adding that Bahrain was dealing with the situation, based on strategies to suit each stage.

“In the next stage, it is the individual’s responsibility to abide by precautionary measures to successfully overcome this pandemic and protect himself, his family and his community.”

He underlined that any Covid-19 symptoms should be immediately reported to the Health Ministry’s hotline, 444, for speedy isolation, minimising the chance of the infection spreading, and rapid treatment and recovery.

Among the many steps taken by the ministry to spread awareness under #Be_Responsible is an SMS message to residents citing the importance of being responsible.

Underlining that the “heroes” of the next stage in the fight against Covid-19 was the community, Dr Al Manea said wearing face masks was mandatory in public, and while visiting the elderly and people with high immunity risk.

“The only exceptions are while exercising or inside vehicles, or when engaged in sports that require extreme physical exertion such as running, swimming and cycling.”

Dr Al Qahtani also emphasised the importance of following guidelines, pointing out that the medical teams were trying their utmost to overcome the challenge and bring life back to normal.


He said safety procedures to be followed when entering the home included disinfecting shoes and personal belongings, washing hands and disposing off masks and gloves properly.

Shoes must be kept outside, and surfaces including furniture and doorknobs must be repeatedly sterilised.

“It is ideal to keep a box at the entrance where you can leave all your personal belongings so that they can be sterilised after you wash your hands with soap.

“Place the clothes you wear separately in a laundry basket and take a shower when you get back home.”

Dr Al Salman also stressed everyone’s responsibility to follow instructions which she said was “very important for the entire country”.

“We stress on the need for everyone to remain committed to social separation and to avoid family gatherings,” she said.





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