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Bahrain’s successful COVID-19 mitigation highlighted at Harvard Symposium

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International healthcare professionals from Pfizer, Google, and Meta, today joined Bahraini healthcare specialists to discuss at the Harvard COVID-19 International Symposium, held at the Wyndham Grand Manama, to discuss pandemic learnings and Bahrain’s successful mitigation measures.

The hybrid symposium, powered by CISCO and co-led and managed by Harvard University, welcomed speakers from global health institutes to contribute to panel discussions on “Geonomics, Surveillance, and Testing of COVID-19 Pandemic”, “Therapeutic Efforts for COVID-19”, Global and National Response to COVID-19”, Social Platforms & Global Response to COVID-19 Experience”.

The chairman of the Supreme Council of Health, HE Lt Gen Dr Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, delivered the symposium’s keynote address, during which he highlighted Bahrain’s rapid and comprehensive pandemic response. HE Lt Gen Dr Shaikh Mohammed cited His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s directives and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa’s leadership as being crucial to the success of Bahrain’s public health response.

During his address, HE Lt Gen Dr Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdullah detailed the strategies that Bahrain employed to mitigate the spread and impact of the virus. Measures included the provision of free PCR tests, treatment for those infected, and vacations for both citizens and residents.

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Bahrain was one of the first countries to provide access to all FDA approved vacations, with other effective vaccines, such as Sinopharm, also being made available. Elsewhere, most entry restrictions for those arriving in Bahrain have been removed and Bahrain International Airport is in the process of introducing a dedicated medical protocol for COVID-19 cases.

A robust multi-lingual media strategy underpins Bahrain’s public awareness campaign, which delivers regular pandemic developments, reiterates the necessity of following restrictions, and promotes getting vaccinated. 

Infectious Disease Consultant and Microbiologist at the Bahrain Defence Force Hospital, and member of the National Medical Taskforce for Combatting the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Lt Col Dr Manaf Al Qahtani, participated in the Genomics, Surveillance and Testing of COVID-19 Pandemic” panel. While Infectious and Internal Diseases Consultant at Salmaniya Medical Complex, and member of the National Medical Taskforce for Combatting the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Dr Jameela Al Salman; and CEO of Primary Healthcare Centers, and member of the National Medical Taskforce for Combating the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Dr Jaleela Al-Sayed Jawad

Harvard University spokesperson Marcia Castro said, “It was a pleasure to discuss the pandemic with my global peers including and hearing about Bahrain’s response to the pandemic. As the percentage of vaccinated individuals continues to increase worldwide, Bahrain is a country that is pre-emptive rather than reactive with over 82% of the Bahraini population having received two doses of the vaccine, and 85% of the eligible population having received a booster dose.”

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