43% surge in COVID-19 cases in Bahrain

18% were detected among children aged between one and 17

  
A medical staff takes a nose swab from an American national at a medical checkpoint on the King Fahd Causeway that reopened after coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions were eased, at the Bahrain-Saudi border, Bahrain, September 15, 2020.

A medical staff takes a nose swab from an American national at a medical checkpoint on the King Fahd Causeway that reopened after coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions were eased, at the Bahrain-Saudi border, Bahrain, September 15, 2020.

REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Bahrain registered a whopping 43 per cent increase in coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in the first 18 days of this year compared to the last two weeks of last year, it has been revealed.

The rise in infections was recorded from January 1 to 18, compared to from December 14 to 31 last year, said Health Ministry Under-Secretary and National Taskforce for Combating the Coronavirus (Covid-19) senior member Dr Waleed Al Manea, without providing statistics.

Of the cases, 18pc were detected among children aged between one and 17, he said as he addressed a Press conference from the Crown Prince Centre for Training and Medical Research at the BDF Hospital yesterday.

“Relaxing precautionary measures has unfortunately resulted in a continuous rise in cases in January,” he said.

“We are all responsible for any increase or decrease in the number of cases, and an increase will only take us back a few steps which is something we don’t want.

“We need to double our efforts and adhere to precautionary measures as relaxing them could have catastrophic results.”

The expert said decisions taken to tackle the virus are reviewed routinely in line with developments and changes.

He also highlighted that inspections were stepped up on all establishments to ensure strict adherence to the precautionary measures with administrative action taken against violators.

Meanwhile, taskforce monitoring committee head Lieutenant Colonel Dr Manaf Al Qahtani said it was imperative that everyone got vaccinated.

“There has been a lot of confusion about this as some people say they would rather get the virus and develop natural immunity than take the vaccine,” he said.

“But the complications of the disease are serious, and it is advisable to take the vaccine which is a responsible choice as the vaccines have proven their effectiveness and safety.

“Taking the second dose is just as critical as the first,” he said, dismissing as “unsafe and incorrect” claims that one dose was enough.

He urged people to refrain from relying on information from unreliable sources, instead trusting information provided by the ministry and the taskforce.

He emphasised that the vaccine will ensure the safety of individuals, families, communities and the country as a whole.

“Bahrain is third globally for the most vaccinations per 100 people and this is a proud achievement for our kingdom where more than 143,000 have received the vaccine,” he added.

The importance of adhering to precautionary measures even after receiving vaccinations was also emphasised by Salmaniya Medical Complex Infectious and Internal Disease Consultant Dr Jameela Al Salman.

She emphasised the importance of providing all the information after coming in contact with active cases to ensure the spread is contained immediately.

“Please adhere to the precautionary measures,” she said.

“Random inspections will continue to ensure the safety of the community; however, those who have come in contact with an active case shouldn’t go for a random check until they are contacted by the team.

“This is critical and must be done to ensure that the spread of the virus is contained while also providing accurate information about all those who have come in contact so that tracking can begin immediately.”

She urged people to stay away from social gatherings and continue social distancing, wearing face masks and washing hands regularly.

reem@gdn.com.bh

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