An enduring fight!

TDT | Manama

The National Taskforce for Combatting the Coronavirus (COVID-19) announced yesterday several new measures to mitigate the spread of the disease in Bahrain.

Among them is the introduction of drive-through testing at Bahrain International Convention and Exhibition Centre, the requirement of all citizens and residents to wear face masks when in public, and a two-week extension of certain measures that have already been in place since last month.

These were revealed at a press conference last night at the Crown Prince Centre for Training and Medical Research. In attendance were Minister of Health Faeqa bint Saeed Al Saleh; Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Zayed R. Al Zayani; Infectious Diseases Consultant and Microbiologist at Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) Hospital and National Taskforce for Combating COVID-19 member Lt. Col. Dr Manaf Al Qahtani; and Infectious and Internal Diseases consultant at Salmaniya Medical Complex Dr Jameela Al Salman.

The announcements followed a remote meeting held earlier yesterday of the Government Executive Committee, chaired by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister.

Health Minister Al Saleh noted that Bahrain will continue to overcome all challenges presented by the virus with the continued support of His Majesty King Hamad Al Khalifa, who directed free COVID-19 treatment for all citizens and residents.

Al Saleh noted that the Kingdom will continue to increase access to COVID-19 testing, and announced the introduction of drive-through testing at Bahrain International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Industry Minister Al Zayani detailed additional precautionary measures introduced by the Government Executive Committee, which includes obliging citizens and residents to wear face masks when in public.

Al Zayani said that face masks will be made available in pharmacies and shops, and highlighted that home-made masks must meet the standards outlined on the Ministry’s website.

Al Zayani noted that certain measures that were enacted since last month and originally scheduled to continue until tomorrow, April 9, are now to be enforced for two more weeks until April 23.

Among these, are the closure of movie theatres, sports centres, private swimming pools, shisha cafes, salons and tourist locations, and the limitation of restaurant services to delivery and takeout, to name a few. For his part, Lt. Col. Al Qahtani stressed that requiring citizens and residents to wear face masks in public will help greatly in curbing the spread of COVID-19.

He also underscored the impact of contact tracing on reducing the spread of the virus. Meanwhile, Dr Al Salman reviewed the health status of active cases. In light of yesterday’s announcements, HRH the Crown Prince stressed that Bahrain’s enduring priority remains the health and safety of all in the Kingdom.

HRH the Crown Prince underlined that the National Taskforce is doubling its dedicated efforts to combat COVID-19 – efforts which continue in tandem with an integrated, proactive approach across the Kingdom’s government, under the leadership of His Majesty the King.

HRH the Crown Prince highlighted the strength of Bahrain’s telecommunications infrastructure, which has allowed for seamless communication and efficiency across all governorates.

HRH the Crown Prince reminded all in the Kingdom of their shared responsibility to contribute towards national efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.