We applaud the taskforce’s tireless efforts to combat COVID-19 in Bahrain

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has commended Bahrain’s precautionary measures to fight the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and protect public health in their report which was issued by their Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean. The report praised Bahrain’s strenuous efforts and precautionary measures combating the coronavirus citing particularly the implementation of a comprehensive national strategy to contain and prevent the spread of the virus.

Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) applauds the taskforce’s tireless efforts to combat and contain the virus and ensure the safety of citizens and residents by implementing all world-standard precautionary measures to combat COVID-19.

As for yesterday, 24th of March 2020, statistics show that there are 390 total cases in the kingdom, 211 are the number of active cases, and 177 are recovered cases, with 2 fatal cases.

On 8 March, the Health Minister of Bahrain said that there are 94 confirmed cases and 14 recovered cases.

As of 12 March, among nations with at least one million citizens, also being the fourth most densely populated country in the world, Bahrain has the world’s fourth highest per capita rate of positive Coronavirus cases in the world at 390 cases per million people (2.0x times the rate of China).

On 16 March, the Ministry of Health reported that a 65-year-old Bahraini woman had died from the coronavirus, marking the first death in Bahrain and the Gulf from the disease. The woman was believed to have chronic diseases. On the same day, the national coronavirus task force launched an appeal for volunteers to provide medical and administrative support during the crisis. The Civil Aviation Authority also announced a significant reduction of incoming flights to Bahrain.

On 17 March, the Bahraini government unveiled an $11.39 billion stimulus package to support the country’s economy during the pandemic, also covering water and electricity bills over the next 3 months.

On 21 February 2020, Bahrain confirmed the first COVID-19 cases, a school bus driver who came from Iran via Dubai. Bahrain took a number of precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus, including the closure of educational institutes and a ban on traveling to some countries.

After emerging in Wuhan, China last December, the coronavirus has now spread to at least 146 countries and territories, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The global death toll now numbers around 16,591, with more than 384,429 confirmed cases, according to Bing COVID 19 Tracker.

Those who did not test positive are quarantined in a dedicated facility, Bahrain’s government communications office said in a separate statement.

There are no direct flights between Bahrain and Iran, the world’s fourth most affected country, with more than 23,049 infections. Airlines are canceling flights across the region as governments try to stem the spread of the virus.

Formula One (F1) announced that the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix, a major car racing event that was due to take place March 20-22, had been postponed over coronavirus worries.

As nations across the globe struggle with the spread of the novel coronavirus, Bahrain has ordered the release of hundreds of prisoners, part of a thinly veiled effort to contain the pandemic.

King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa issued a decree granting pardon for 901 prisoners. A further 585 inmates will serve out the rest of their sentences in rehabilitation and training programs, the state-run Bahrain news agency reported.

“We still urge the authorities to release prisoners, especially in the current pandemic. We should consider the current health crisis to come together as a whole. We call on the government to release BCHR’s head, Nabeel Rajab, and the elder prisoners who already have health problems.” said Nedal Al Salman, Acting President of Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR).