94% critical cases ‘are unvaccinated’ in Bahrain

Half a million people in Bahrain have so far taken both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine

  
People, wearing protective face masks and maintaining social distance, line up to receive meals distributed by the Adliya Charity during the holy month of Ramadan, in Manama, Bahrain, April 24, 2021. Image used for illustrative purpose

People, wearing protective face masks and maintaining social distance, line up to receive meals distributed by the Adliya Charity during the holy month of Ramadan, in Manama, Bahrain, April 24, 2021. Image used for illustrative purpose

REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Ninety-four per cent of patients in Bahrain under critical care for coronavirus (Covid-19) infection in a single day have not been vaccinated, it has emerged.

The National Taskforce for Combating Covid-19, in its latest analysis, added that 78pc of cases on Friday – which recorded the highest daily tally of cases since the onset of the pandemic – were also infected before receiving a jab. It also highlighted that the four deaths recorded on the same day were people who were unvaccinated.

“A high percentage of active coronavirus cases in Bahrain are people who are not vaccinated,” said a task force spokesman. “In fact 94pc of the 119 cases in intensive care were not.”

Last Friday Bahrain registered 1,706 positive Covid-19 cases, setting an unenviable new record, smashing the previous one set just two days earlier of 1,450.

The analysis revealed that 1,331 out of the 1,706 cases on Friday had not received one of the freely available vaccinations. Of the 119 under critical care, 112 were not vaccinated.

The four fatalities on the day included two female citizens aged 75 and 52 years, one female expatriate aged 43 years and a male expatriate aged 44 years. They are part of the 678 total of Covid-19 fatalities in the country as of Saturday.

“Following precautionary measures and getting vaccinated reduces the infection rates,” added the task force, in its renewed appeal to the public to follow guidelines through the Health Ministry’s Twitter social media account.

Bahrain has been witnessing an increase in positive cases in the country, crossing the 1,000-mark on March 18 (1,027 cases). Last month officials recorded an average of 1,082 daily cases, yet, maintaining the positivity rate below 9pc, while on Friday it spiked to 10.14pc.

Meanwhile, task force senior member and Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) infectious and internal diseases consultant, Dr Jameela Salman, dismissed rumours that vaccinated people should be isolated for the best results.

“All the vaccines being used do not contain a live virus – it is either a disabled virus or part of the virus and this does not cause Covid-19 or inflammation or transfer of infection, hence there is no need for isolation,” said Dr Al Salman.

“However, they must continue adhering to the precautionary measures. This is critical because the response to a vaccination differs from one person to another.

“Vaccines also have an effectiveness percentage that differs from one vaccine to another too.

“When we reach herd immunity, hopefully, we may be able to reduce the precautionary measures.”

Eligible

Half a million people in Bahrain have so far taken both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine and completed the two-week period after the second dose for immunity development, constituting 44pc cent of population eligible for vaccination.

Entering into the new stage as the national vaccination campaign is on a success track, Bahrain on Friday announced citizens and residents will soon receive the third ‘booster’ dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. The ‘booster’ shot will be administered to those who completed both doses of a vaccine, within a span of six to 12 months.

The country offers free Covid-19 vaccinations and offers them four choices – Sinopharm, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca-Oxford and Sputnik V. Those who wish to get vaccinated can register via the BeAware Bahrain app or through the ministry’s website, while the elderly and those with chronic conditions need no prior registration.

The GDN earlier reported that the task force was optimistic of achieving herd immunity (80-90pc of the population) soon, while aiming to fully vaccinate up to 60pc of the adult population by the end of this month.

raji@gdn.com.bh

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