COVID-19 cases among citizens rising
TDT | Manama
The number of new active cases being reported amongst Bahrainis infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19) has risen dramatically in just over a month’s time, Ministry of Health undersecretary Dr. Waleed Al Manea revealed yesterday. Dr. Al Manea said that on April 16, there were 26 new cases reported, but by June 2, the number surged to 179 Bahrainis.
Dr. Al Manea said that among the reasons for the “huge increase” are reckless non-compliance to health guidelines, and a rise in family gatherings, as many of the new active cases are being detected within the same family.
He emphasised the importance of ensuring that family gatherings are limited to individuals living in the same household, along with the other health guidelines such as leaving home only when necessary, wearing facemasks, and abiding by social distancing regulations.
Dr. Al Manea was speaking at the National Taskforce for Combatting the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Press conference, held yesterday at the Crown Prince Centre for Training and Medical Research at the Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) Hospital, where the latest developments in the Kingdom’s COVID-19 fight were highlighted.
Dr. Al Manea was joined by Infectious Disease consultant, BDF Hospital microbiologist and National Taskforce member Lt. Col. Dr. Manaf Al Qahtani, as well as Salmaniya Medical Complex Infectious and Internal Diseases consultant Dr. Jameela Al Salman.
Dr. Al Manea emphasised the importance of following the new expanded facemask protocols recently announced by the National Taskforce. Face masks should be worn in public and when around the elderly or individuals with underlying health problems living in the same household.
Individuals driving a car, or practising strenuous exercises such as running or swimming do not need to wear a face mask during those activities. Dr. Al Manea reiterated the Kingdom’s continued commitment to ensuring all measures are taken to preserve the health and safety of the community.
He underscored that, during the next phase of COVID-19 mitigation, adhering to all health and precautionary measures is the responsibility of every individual to ensure the safety of their families and the community. Dr. Al Manea revealed that the Kingdom’s current isolation and treatment capacity has increased.
It now stands at 7,187 beds, of which 4,884 were occupied at the time of the conference; while quarantine capacity has also gone up, with 3,410 beds, of which 599 are currently occupied. Meanwhile, Dr. Al Qahtani enumerated certain steps that must be followed to ensure the safety of individuals and families when returning home from outdoors.
These include placing shoes outside the household as well as personal belongings in a box and disinfecting them, removing and disinfecting any bags brought from outside, changing one’s clothes, and taking a shower.
Dr. Al Qahtani also announced that the clinical trials using convalescent plasma to help treat patients suffering from COVID-19 have been completed and the results are now being analysed by specialists. He added that the trials involved 40 patients.
On her part, Dr. Al Salman noted the commitment of the Ministry of Health to increase its daily testing capacity, saying that as of yesterday, more than 330,000 tests had been conducted. Dr. Al Salman highlighted that a large number of individuals in Bahrain have recovered thanks to the Kingdom’s treatment protocol and the care being provided to active cases.