Solidarity fund to fight coronavirus is backed

MANAMA: Leading businessman Akram Miknas expressed his full support for Parliament’s proposal to establish a solidarity fund for contributions and donations from businessmen, national companies, banks and individuals to tackle and prevent the spread of the coronavirus and other disasters.

“This fund could be allocated to support the health sector and government efforts to limit the spread of this virus. We watch with pride and admiration the actions of the government measures to contain the spread of this virus. We have seen how the exhibition centre has turned into a very large and integrated health services centre, in addition to the health facilities at the airport, the quarantine facilities in Sitra, and the loyal team of medical and health personnel working day and night for this goal,” Mr Miknas said.

He pointed out that the current coronavirus ordeal came at a time when governments suffer mainly from a lack of financial resources due to declining oil prices, and said that “We should admire and respect what GCC governments have done by announcing the allocation of spending packages to counter the negative effects of coronavirus, including Bahrain, which announced stimulus packages worth more than BD4 billion.”

Mr Miknas explained that part of the solidarity fund allocations could also go to the infected people in the quarantine and who are severely impacted by it, especially those who do not have a steady income, or who have lost their jobs due to difficult economic conditions.

“I fully agreed with what MPs said at the session on Tuesday that Bahrain deserves, and the government did not fail the merchants, but it is not desirable for merchants to be accused of refraining from contributing to the service of Bahrain,” Mr Miknas added.

He stressed that more than 5,000 Bahrainis and residents volunteered in the national campaign to support efforts to combat coronavirus, and merchants also will do the same and take the initiative to support those efforts, and he clarified that the support may be financial or in kind, such as allocating a hotel to be quarantine and other kinds of support.

“No one knows how long the current corona ordeal can continue, so we must ensure the sustainability of the resources to combat the spread of this virus, in addition to helping those affected by it to remain steadfast until the crisis unfolds and the economy returns to circulation and public life returns to its normal status,” Mr Miknas said.



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