Spike in Covid-19 cases casts doubt on post-pandemic reality
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
The rising cases of Covid-19 in Bahrain is triggering fears of a fourth wave, which has already adversely affected many countries across the world. Covid data indicate that many countries in Europe including the UK may be at the start of a new wave of Covid infections driven by variants BA.4 and BA.5.
The data also suggests these variants may have evolved to refavour infecting lung tissue, which could make them more dangerous. In the beginning of June, 2022, the daily new cases reported (June 1) in the Kingdom was 583 while the number of active cases stood at 3,953.
And, in comparison, the numbers reported yesterday (June 20) were alarmingly high - 1,907 daily new cases and 11,006 active cases. Three Covid-19 deaths have been reported this month.
The Daily Tribune last week quoted a prominent physician in the Kingdom, who said extreme caution is necessary to sustain the gains against the virus in light of fresh Covid-19 infections being reported everyday in the Kingdom.
There has also been an unprecedented increase in viral fever cases across the Kingdom during the last two weeks, further complicating the general health situation.
“It is not unusual to find a rise in flu cases during this period of the year when the climate changes fast. During the last two years, we didn’t witness this spike in flu in this climate changing period as people mainly remained indoors and there was no room for transmission.
“I advise patients to seek medical attention if the fever lasts for a longer period. Generally, viral fever will subside in four days. Take rest and drink plenty of fluids.
Definitely, seek medical attention if the fever is accompanied by a severe headache, stiff neck, shortness of breath, or other unusual signs or symptoms,” the prominent physician had said.
Two days ago, the National Medical Taskforce for Combatting the Covid-19 Pandemic urged all those eligible for second or subsequent booster doses to take them without any hesitation. Booster doses, the Taskforce said, are crucial to raising the immunity and protecting an individual, his family and community from the virus and its variants.
“It is crucial to continue strengthening our commitment to precautionary measures to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus.” Those aged 12 years and above could take a booster dose every nine months.
Individuals with a prior infection are eligible for a booster nine months after their last dose and at least six months after infection. The Taskforce also called for wearing masks and strictly following the health guidelines.
The Kingdom’s existing success against the pandemic is attributed to its vaccination milestones and preventive measures adopted by the Ministry of Health. As of now, the Kingdom has approved Pfizer/BioNTech Comirnaty, Gamaleya Sputnik Light, Gamaleya Sputnik V, Johnson and Johnson Ad26.COV2.S, Covishield AstraZeneca, Bharat Biotech Covaxin, Sinopharm Covilo and ValnevaVLA2001.
Bahrain became the first country in the world to authorise, receive and administer Valneva’s Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by the French biotech major. A recent study published by the Nature Magazine showed that the risk of Covid infection, intensive care unit admissions and deaths remained high among recipients of the Sinopharm vaccine in the Kingdom.
The study, carried out by Dr Sid Mukherjee, a researcher in the field, probes into the Kingdom’s Covid-19 related outcomes from a national database, taking into consideration the administering of four vaccines to tackle the pandemic risk.
“Despite the overall effectiveness of all four vaccines in decreasing the risk of COVID-19 related hospitalisations, intensive care unit admissions and deaths, we noted a significantly higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, hospitalisations and ICU admissions among recipients of the Sinopharm vaccine compared to other vaccine recipients.”
A graph showing daily new cases of Covid-19 in the Kingdom