Bahrain - Drones equipped with loudspeakers are being deployed across the capital to enforce social distancing measures.

Police personnel are using the drones in heavily populated areas in Manama to ensure people abide by a ban on public gatherings of more than five people.

The other measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease in Bahrain include wearing face masks in public, staying home unless necessary, and limiting Ramadan activities such as public iftar gatherings and majlises.

Ghabgas, mass iftars, distributing iftar packets on roads and setting up donation kiosks in public places have also been banned throughout the holy month.

In a segment that aired on Bahrain Television police were shown using the drone to ensure full compliance with the wide range of precautionary measures introduced by the government to curb the pandemic.

It also showed police personnel flying the drone over a crowded junction.

“Please maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from others when you step out,” said a policeman in Urdu via the drone.

“Avoid going to crowded areas and your safety is your responsibility.”

The segment that aired on Bahrain Television also showed expat workers on the streets looking up at the drone, as messages being broadcast urge them to stay home.

It further shows community policewomen stopping a female shopper and asking her to wear gloves before entering a supermarket, and maintaining a proper distance.

In the last few weeks police personnel have been assisted by expatriate associations when visiting densely populated areas in Manama.

The volunteers have been using loudspeakers to educate the migrant community about guidelines to fight Covid-19 in different languages.

The GDN reported yesterday that migrant workers were rampantly flouting social distancing guidelines by queuing up in numbers to collect iftar meals in Manama.

MPs have demanded strict action against those who are distributing the meals and individuals who are violating regulations.

In addition, police have once again started to patrol Bab Al Bahrain and distribute multilingual pamphlets to shoppers and traders as part of an ongoing awareness campaign.

It comes as commercial and industrial businesses providing goods and services resumed operations on Thursday night amid strict regulations, including having all employees and customers wear masks.

They should also limit the number of people at any one time to limit overcrowding and enforce social distancing.

Stores and facilities must also be regularly and thoroughly disinfected in accordance with the Health Ministry’s guidelines and appropriate space is marked on the floor to maintain social distancing.

Although these outlets have been allowed to reopen, cinemas, gyms and salons will remain closed, while sheesha cafes, restaurants and cafes are limited to take out and delivery services.

Authorities have also relocated hundreds of expat workers to dedicated government shelters as part of Covid-19 measures to reduce overcrowding in residential buildings used as labour camps.

The GDN previously reported that the overwhelming majority of the active Covid-19 cases in Bahrain are among expatriates.


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