UK hails Bahrain’s role in virus battle

A VAST majority of the British residents in Bahrain have opted to stay back indicating their vote of confidence in the local public health system in light of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, according to the country’s top diplomat.

Ambassador Roddy Drummond thanked the Bahraini government for all the support extended to his countrymen, especially the 1,250 Britons who transited through Bahrain on their way back home from India last week.

He was speaking during a virtual media roundtable on Covid-19 and other current topics yesterday.

“We have around 5,000 to 6,000 UK citizens in Bahrain of which a vast majority have chosen to stay back,” he said.

Bahrain’s take on dealing with the Covid-19 situation has been positive, he said, commending the “well explained” national strategy.

“Every country has had a different approach and Bahrain had a positive take on dealing with the situation.

“Early on, the country had a very clear strategy on how to deal with this long-term as well.

“The advice to the public comes in phases, is logical and well explained in many languages.

“Bahrain also had to cope with the decisions of other countries and adapted to those effectively including the closing of airspace and borders.

“The response was exemplary in many aspects; it was all well explained and was not only about enforcement.

“It was a tiny minority that transgressed.

“Also the additional medical facility to cope with the potential increase is also commendable.”

Mr Drummond thanked the Bahraini government for the help rendered to 1,250 Britons who transited through Bahrain International Airport last week.

“There was a lot of support extended in terms of crew change and refuelling and the passengers did not have to get off the plane.

“There was a lot happening behind the scenes and the response was exemplary.

“We are engaging in dialogues on social media with the community and are grateful to the measures taken by the Bahrain government including flexi visas and other practical admin points.”

He noted that the bilateral engagements had slowed down with regards to ministerial visits, with online collaboration continuing.

He assured that preparations were underway to revive the “paused collaborations” later this year, underlining that Britain valued Bahrain as one of its major partners in the region.

The diplomat underlined that the world was “facing the biggest public health emergency in a generation” which he said was “a huge challenge for every country”.


“The main focus is on the health, while the secondary focus will be on the economy and other aspects.

“UK is transparent in its communication (about Covid-19) which is important to keep the public confidence as it could be on for quite a long period of time.”

Mr Drummond noted that around 1.3 million Britons had returned home from all over the world before countries shut their borders.

“They were mainly nationals stranded in places without public health and treatment facilities.

“The advice to the community settled and working in countries, and those with high confidence in the public health facilities, and specific to Bahrain, has been to stay where they are and obey the guidelines.”




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