“Bahrain has the lowest rates of death and the active cases of the Corona virus pandemic in the Gulf and many Asian countries, an international seminar was told. This has been possible because of various anti COVID-19 measures taken by the Government”, said senior journalist and YMCA Bahrain President, Soman Baby.
He was speaking at a Webinar organised by the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) on the “Plight of Migrant Workers amidst the COVID-19 crisis”.
CCA General Secretary Dr Mathews George Chunakara moderated and introduced the topic of the virtual conference.
Among the most vulnerable in wake of the COVID-19 in Asia and the Arabian Gulf are migrant workers, who are bearing the worst brunt of the pandemic’s consequences, he noted.
The webinar was the first in a series of virtual conferences initiated by CCA, which has its headquarters in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Eight panellists and about 100 specially invited participants attended the event.
As of April 29 by noon, total positive cases in GCC was around 55,000, said Mr Soman. About 300 people died.
Maximum cases were in Saudi Arabia with 21,500 cases and 157 deaths, said Mr Soman.
Qatar was at 12,564 cases, and death was only 10. UAE was 11,380 cases and death 89. Kuwait was 3,740 cases and 24 deaths. Oman 2274 cases and 10 deaths.
Bahrain was the lowest death rate which stood at eight and cases were 2,811. World average death per 1 million population is 28, whereas Bahrain death per 1 million is just five, said Mr Soman.
In the Gulf, the highest death rate is in the UAE with nine deaths per 1 million population.
Bahrain and UAE are doing excellent in testing as more number of tests are happening. In UAE more than 1 million tests were carried out, and in Bahrain more than 120,000 tests.
Mr Soman attributed the success to the leadership of His Majesty the King, His Royal Highness the Prime Minister and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince.
He specially noted that Crown Prince His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, who is the Chairman of the National Taskforce Committee, has done excellent measures in controlling the spread of COVID-19, with many quarantine centres and co-ordination of activities by various ministries.
Electricity, water and Municipality bills for three months have been waived for all individuals, and three months’ salary of Bahraini workers have already been paid by the Government.
His Royal Highness Prince Salman has also declared a stimulus economic package of BD4.3 billion.
His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa has launched the “Feena Khair” by donating BD 1 million, and the amount already reached BD 36 million.
Mr Soman said several community organisations have come forward with food kits and many other measures to help the workers in labour camps.
Dr George congratulated Bahrain on the excellent result and hoped other countries would come up with measures to help ease the crisis caused by the pandemic that the world is grappling with today.
Dr Sebastian Irudaya Rajan, a professor at the Centre for Development Studies in Kerala, Dolores Balladares Pelaez, from Philippines, Brahm Press, from Thailand, Yusmiati Wangka from Hong Kong, Rev. Changweon Jang from South Korea, Solomon David from the UAE, and Helen Monisha Sarkar, from Bangladesh also took part.