Bahrain is inching closer to a new one million booster jabs landmark, as the country leaves no stone unturned in protecting its people from the coronavirus infection.

The kingdom has administered a third shot of a Covid-19 vaccine to 981,963 people, who are eligible out of its estimated 1.5 million population.

Booster shots, according to experts, produce virus-fighting antibodies capable of combating the emerging variants, especially the rapidly spreading Omicron.

The GDN reported last month that more than 99 per cent of Bahrain’s young population – aged between 30 and 39 – have been fully vaccinated, while the highest percentage of booster shots were administered to people aged between 50 and 59 – 94.2pc – until March 26.

The country launched booster jabs for adults in May last year and for adolescents aged 12-17 in January this year.

Meanwhile, as the country gets ready to celebrate Eid-Al-Fitr without much restrictions after a two-year hiatus, medics have advised people to be responsible and wear facemasks to avoid a further spike in infections.

American Mission Hospital (AMH) Internal Medicine specialist Dr Anup Abdulla warned of the new and emerging variants, the impact of which is still being studied.

“Festivals or not, facemasks are a must,” Dr Abdulla said, stressing that no countries were out of the woods yet.

“Scrapping of RT-PCR tests for international travel has led to several countries reporting an increase in infections last week,” he said.

“With new variants being identified in India, the UK, Israel and South Africa, which are being studied, it is important to stay vigilant. The case positivity rate is also increasing on a daily basis in these countries, which is a signal to be wary of.”

A recent study in California found that people who wore a cloth mask in indoor public spaces last year were 56 per cent less likely to test positive, compared with people who did not wear a face covering. The protection grew to 66pc for those who consistently wore surgical masks and to 83pc for those wearing N95 or KN95 masks.

A Bahraini family physician, who requested not to be named, urged citizens and residents not to drop their guards as the country opens its doors to Eid Al Fitr celebrations in person. Last two years, celebrations were limited to private ceremonies amidst Covid-19 protocols, with strict restrictions on family gatherings.

“We are happy that we are going to celebrate Eid freely, yet we emphasise on continuing some important precautions to protect those who are at higher risk and to reduce rates of reinfection,” the medic said.

“Each one of us, during this holiday season, must make sure that we protect ourselves and those around us. And the simplest way to do that is by wearing a facemask - especially during family gatherings and when mixing with the elderly and immuno-compromised people.

“Anyone experiencing symptoms of upper respiratory infections must also maintain a distance from others and wear a facemask. This is needed to ensure community protection and will help keep the daily cases and positivity rate low.”

Royal Bahrain Hospital internist Dr Sunil Rao echoed similar views. “Though not mandatory, it is prudent to wear a mask as it prevents human to human transmission of respiratory viral infection,” he said.

Kims Health Accident and Emergency head Dr Donnel Don Bosco also stressed the need to be ‘socially responsible’.

“I believe we must not let our guards down yet,” he said. “We must hold hands just once more to eradicate this worldwide threat – we see light at the end of the tunnel, let us get there so we can bask in the sun of good health and global prosperity.”

The GDN had earlier reported that family gatherings were ‘super spreaders’ of Covid-19 infection in the country.

 

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BAHRAIN is inching closer to a new one million booster jabs landmark, as the country leaves no stone unturned in protecting its people from the coronavirus infection.

 

The kingdom has administered a third shot of a Covid-19 vaccine to 981,963 people, who are eligible out of its estimated 1.5 million population.

 

Booster shots, according to experts, produce virus-fighting antibodies capable of combating the emerging variants, especially the rapidly spreading Omicron.

 

The GDN reported last month that more than 99 per cent of Bahrain’s young population – aged between 30 and 39 – have been fully vaccinated, while the highest percentage of booster shots were administered to people aged between 50 and 59 – 94.2pc – until March 26.

 

The country launched booster jabs for adults in May last year and for adolescents aged 12-17 in January this year.

 

Meanwhile, as the country gets ready to celebrate Eid-Al-Fitr without much restrictions after a two-year hiatus, medics have advised people to be responsible and wear facemasks to avoid a further spike in infections.

 

American Mission Hospital (AMH) Internal Medicine specialist Dr Anup Abdulla warned of the new and emerging variants, the impact of which is still being studied.

 

“Festivals or not, facemasks are a must,” Dr Abdulla said, stressing that no countries were out of the woods yet.

 

“Scrapping of RT-PCR tests for international travel has led to several countries reporting an increase in infections last week,” he said.

 

“With new variants being identified in India, the UK, Israel and South Africa, which are being studied, it is important to stay vigilant. The case positivity rate is also increasing on a daily basis in these countries, which is a signal to be wary of.”

 

A recent study in California found that people who wore a cloth mask in indoor public spaces last year were 56 per cent less likely to test positive, compared with people who did not wear a face covering. The protection grew to 66pc for those who consistently wore surgical masks and to 83pc for those wearing N95 or KN95 masks.

 

A Bahraini family physician, who requested not to be named, urged citizens and residents not to drop their guards as the country opens its doors to Eid Al Fitr celebrations in person. Last two years, celebrations were limited to private ceremonies amidst Covid-19 protocols, with strict restrictions on family gatherings.

 

“We are happy that we are going to celebrate Eid freely, yet we emphasise on continuing some important precautions to protect those who are at higher risk and to reduce rates of reinfection,” the medic said.

 

“Each one of us, during this holiday season, must make sure that we protect ourselves and those around us. And the simplest way to do that is by wearing a facemask - especially during family gatherings and when mixing with the elderly and immuno-compromised people.

 

“Anyone experiencing symptoms of upper respiratory infections must also maintain a distance from others and wear a facemask. This is needed to ensure community protection and will help keep the daily cases and positivity rate low.”

 

Royal Bahrain Hospital internist Dr Sunil Rao echoed similar views. “Though not mandatory, it is prudent to wear a mask as it prevents human to human transmission of respiratory viral infection,” he said.

 

 

Kims Health Accident and Emergency head Dr Donnel Don Bosco also stressed the need to be ‘socially responsible’.

 

“I believe we must not let our guards down yet,” he said. “We must hold hands just once more to eradicate this worldwide threat – we see light at the end of the tunnel, let us get there so we can bask in the sun of good health and global prosperity.”

 

The GDN had earlier reported that family gatherings were ‘super spreaders’ of Covid-19 infection in the country.

 

raji@gdn.com.bh

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