Bahrain Health Ministry launches rapid Covid-19 tests

Bahrain has so far registered 76,621 cases

  
A Bahrain Defence Force medical personnel wearing a protective face mask works at a makeshift ICU "Field Intensive Care Unit 2 (Sitra)" set up by Bahrain authorities to treat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) critical patients, at an island in Sitra, Bahrain, May 4, 2020.

A Bahrain Defence Force medical personnel wearing a protective face mask works at a makeshift ICU "Field Intensive Care Unit 2 (Sitra)" set up by Bahrain authorities to treat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) critical patients, at an island in Sitra, Bahrain, May 4, 2020.

REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

The Health Ministry has launched rapid Covid-19 tests on a trial basis.

Primary Healthcare Labs chief Batoul Al Alawi said 20,000 tests would be initially conducted, focusing on teachers, students, medical teams on the frontline and symptomatic patients.

The rapid test detects infections through a nasal swab with an accurate diagnosis of the patient’s condition within 15 minutes without the need for a specialised laboratory.

The new service is part of initiatives spearheaded by the National Taskforce for Combating Covid-19 to facilitate tests and keep abreast of international developments. 

“The test results are the same as those currently approved in laboratories for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing,” the ministry said.

However, Ms Al Alawi said the test is not a substitute for a PCR examination if the result is positive.

More than 2,700 patients, out of 4,200 who are set to undergo tests at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre, will undergo rapid tests, in addition to 800 health and medical frontliners.

The announcement came as Bahrain yesterday registered 349 new Covid-19 cases, alongside 397 recoveries and two fatalities.

A 77-year-old Bahraini man and a Bahraini woman, aged 75, died yesterday taking the toll to 287.

The Health Ministry revealed that of the 349 new cases, 105 were expat workers, 239 contacts of local cases and five travel-related.

It said an additional 397 people recovered from Covid-19, taking the total recoveries to 72,561. Of the 3,773 active cases, 93 were receiving treatment and 52 in critical condition.

Bahrain has so far registered 76,621 cases and has conducted 1,577,500 virus tests.

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