Undocumented residents in Bahrain offered new jabs lifeline

People were urged to inform the embassy about reasons, if any, for not taking the jab or hurdles faced in getting one

  
Covid-19 Coronavirus Vaccine vial held by a hand in a lab.

Covid-19 Coronavirus Vaccine vial held by a hand in a lab.

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Undocumented residents have been thrown a lifeline with a diplomatic mission pledging to help its citizens get vaccinated against Covid-19.

Bangladesh Embassy yesterday called on its unvaccinated nationals to inform the embassy by registering through a link.

The mission, in its Facebook post to the community, said it would “take proper steps to solve their problems”.

The Asian community, the second largest expatriate community in Bahrain, has thousands of undocumented workers who are unable to take the shots for want of CPR.

In the statement – along with a link https://forms.gle/TkpgpZxUutycJ9wo9 – the mission highlighted the availability of free vaccines for expatriates.

It also outlined instructions of the World Health Organisation on the importance of the jabs to protect self and others from infection.

“The government has been urging everyone living in Bahrain to get vaccinated since the beginning and has imposed many restrictions on those who have not been inoculated,” it said.

“In this situation, the honourable ambassador (Dr Mohammed Nazrul Islam) has urged all Bangladeshi workers to take the vaccine.”

People were urged to inform the embassy (using the link) about reasons, if any, for not taking the jab or hurdles faced in getting one.

The GDN has repeatedly highlighted concerns about foreigners in the country who are unable to take the shots for want of CPR.

Board members of the Migrant Workers’ Protection Society (MWPS) had suggested issuing temporary CPRs to undocumented workers so that they can get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Senior legislators had highlighted the possibility of the group emerging as “silent spreaders” unless their plight is addressed.

The GDN reported earlier that an estimated 25,000 Bangladeshis, according to Dr Islam, are undocumented.

“We have had cases with some who could take the vaccine despite lacking residency as they have a valid CPR,” Bangladesh Embassy labour consul Shaikh Tahidul Islam told the GDN.

“Many are unaware as to what to do in such situations.

“We will soon have the situation where people will not be able to go to hospitals and other public facilities unless they are vaccinated.

“The same rule could apply to the embassy as well, in future.

“We want to collect data before we try to take it up with the government.”

The diplomat said an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 Bangladesh nationals would feature in this category.

In its Facebook post the mission highlighted that the virus claimed the lives of 70 Bangladeshi workers until April, adding that another 32 died last month.

The mission also urged people to contact 444 if they suspect to have come in contact with a Covid patient, or in case of any symptoms.

Nationals can also call the embassy number 17233925 (office hours) or 33375155, in case they fail to reach the national hotline.

A representative of the Nepalese Embassy also told the GDN that they were aware of “a few people in this category”, adding that they were “collecting data from the community”.

Bahrain offers four free vaccines to citizens and residents aged above 18, who have valid personal identity – the CPR.

However, the country reportedly has almost 70,000 illegal migrants who do not have this document, which prevents them from getting the jab.

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