Plans to ramp up daily tests

PLANS are underway to increase the number of daily coronavirus tests as part of the ‘trace, track and treat’ strategy, it was revealed.

National Taskforce for Combating Coronavirus member and Salmaniya Medical Complex Infectious and Internal Diseases consultant Dr Jameela Al Salman also said Bahrain has conducted nearly a million and a half RT PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) tests.

She was addressing a Press conference yesterday along with Health Ministry Under-Secretary Dr Walid Al Manea and taskforce monitoring committee head Lt Col Dr Manaf Al Qahtani.

“The Health Ministry is trying to gain early access to existing cases and contacts by expanding the range and number of daily examinations and random checks in order to speed up treatment and ensure speedy recovery,” she said.

Till date, Bahrain has conducted 1,498,843 tests using nasal swabs.

Meanwhile, Dr Al Manea clarified it was “not practical” to test the entire population of Bahrain.

“We have conducted nearly 1.5m tests but it doesn’t mean that we have covered the entire population; it’s not practical and tests cannot be done all at once.

“However, Bahrain is among the countries to conduct the highest number of tests.

“Our objective is not to conduct tests on all but on certain categories – mainly close contacts, those who call 444, those who opt to get tested themselves at private hospitals and those tested randomly.

“The higher number of tests means we were able to cover real active cases and this has helped us build clear plans to track the rate of infection.”

Dr Al Manea also revealed that only 14.9 per cent of the capacity of the Covid-19 isolation and treatment facilities were occupied.

Out of 7,642 beds at the facilities only 1,137 are occupied.

He added that the recovery rate in the country stands at 93.4pc while the death rate was 0.36pc.




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