99% patients battling COVID-19 ‘unvaccinated’

A mere 0.8% had received both doses of the vaccine

  

More than 99 per cent of people battling against Covid-19 have not been vaccinated against the virus.

Top medics yesterday renewed calls for members of the public to get the jab before they fall victim and become another sickening pandemic statistic.

In total 99.2pc of Covid-19 patients fighting the illness had not been vaccinated.

A mere 0.8pc had received both doses of the vaccine.

They also pointed out that of the 175 Covid-19 deaths since January, only two had been inoculated – and they had underlying conditions.

This confirms the efficacy of vaccines available in Bahrain, they pointed out, warning public against believing in unfounded myths and rumours about its safety.

Members of the National Taskforce for Combating Covid-19 including Health Ministry Under-Secretary Dr Waleed Al Manea, monitoring committee head Lt Col Dr Manaf Al Qahtani and Infectious and Internal Diseases consultant at Salmaniya Medical Complex Dr Jameela Al Salman were speaking at an online Press conference alongside Public Security chief Lieutenant General Tariq Al Hassan.

CASES

The announcement comes as Bahrain registered the highest daily Covid-19 cases since February last year, with 1,316 cases on Saturday.

“Your health is in your hands,” Dr Al Manea said, asserting that any increase or decrease in number of cases were a direct reflection of people’s commitment to follow instructions.

He noted that since January the incidence rate has been 70pc among citizens and 30pc among expatriates. “We stress the need to avoid gatherings of all kinds, as contact tracing mechanism revealed it as a prominent cause of transmission in the Bahraini community.

“Almost 91pc of contacts were due to gatherings at homes. Those with underlying diseases and health conditions and the elderly are at risk.”

Dr Al Manea highlighted enhanced measures adopted by the team to support the national campaign, the latest being a drive-through testing centre for Covid-19 at the Rashid Equestrian and Horseracing Club in Al Raffa, Sakhir.

“Vaccination increases the number of antibodies in the body and reduces the severity of symptoms,” he said, calling on the elderly, pregnant women, the chronically ill and the obese to register for the jab.

Bahrain’s recovery rate is high at 93.09pc while death rate is 0.36pc of the existing cases, Dr Al Manea said.

He also added that only 46.8pc of the capacity (5,880 beds) in isolation and treatment centres was occupied (2,794). He reminded all to embrace the Holy Month with a greater commitment to reduce the number of infections.

Dr Al Qahtani reiterated that 80pc of the daily cases were from the new and more infectious strain of the virus first detected in the UK.

He blamed the public for their “irresponsible” behaviour, stating that their reckless attitude has undermined the efforts of the medical team.

“This attitude took us many steps back – we need strict compliance with health guidelines. Stop spreading rumours or doubting the efficiency of the team.

“It will only lead to the death of innocent people.

“Vaccines in Bahrain are safe and they have contributed to the reduction of cases.

“Direct your doubts and questions to specialists and doctors and seek the right answers.”

The World Health Organisation lists vaccine hesitancy as one of the top 10 threats to global health.

Bahrain is the only country in the GCC that offers a choice of five Covid-19 vaccines – Sinopharm, Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Sputnik V and Johnson & Johnson.

Public can register for the free shot through the website healthalert.gov.bh or through the BeAware application, while those aged 60 years and above need no registration.

Those opting for Sinopharm can go to their health centres, while Sputnik is available at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre.

Responding to queries Dr Al Qahtani said precautionary measures, including mandatory facemasks and curbs on gatherings “cannot be relaxed until herd immunity is achieved” – which is when 60pc to 70pc of the population is vaccinated.

raji@gdn.com.bh

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