Wednesday, August 12, 2020

National Taskforce for Combating Coronavirus highlights measures taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

The National Taskforce for Combating Coronavirus (COVID-19) held a press conference at the Crown Prince Centre for Training and Medical Research at the Bahrain Defence Force Hospital, to highlight measures taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Dr. Waleed Khalifa Al Manea, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Health and member of the National Taskforce for Combating Coronavirus (COVID-19), began by expressing his appreciation for the praise extended by HM the King to front liners, during the Supreme Defence Council meeting.

Dr. Al Manea added that with the support of its citizens, Bahrain’s comprehensive approach towards combating the spread of COVID-19 has gained wide international recognition, most recently from Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization.

Turning to patient outcome, Dr. Al Manea explained that the recovery rate is currently at 83.85% with a 0.32% death rate. Isolation centre capacity stands at 34%, with 2,839 out of 8,357 beds occupied, and 1,814 asymptotic cases are under optional home self-isolation after meeting the set criteria.

Lt. Col. Manaf Al Qahtani, Infectious Disease Consultant & Microbiologist at the BDF Hospital and member of the National Taskforce for Combating the Coronavirus (COVID-19), recognised the importance of adhering to all COVID-19 safety measures and highlighted the latest action Bahrain has taken against the spread of the virus, as follows:

  • Bahrain welcomed an Italian medical delegation to strengthen the bridge of cooperation and exchange knowledge on COVID-19 treatment protocols.
  • The BDF Hospital has installed portable chambers to isolate suspected COVID-19 cases, the 3-meter by 3-meter chambers are equipped with all the technology available at standard isolation rooms and undergo 48 air changes per hour, allowing for the safe transfer of suspected cases.

Lt. Col. Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Al Ansari, Project Manager of Public Hospital Autonomy at the Supreme Council of Health, then reviewed COVID-19 indicators. He noted that the doubling time, the time that it takes for cases infected with the virus to double, for total cases stood at 21-days until June 19 with no doubling occurring during the past 18 days to date.

The doubling time between Bahrainis stood at 12 days on June 13 with no doubling occurring during the past 24 days. The doubling time between expatriate workers stood at 21 days on June 4th with no doubling occurring during the past 33 days.

Al Ansari explained that the percentage of new active cases compared to recovered cases ranged between 0.6% to 1.4% new cases for every new recovery, an average of 1.2%, compared to 0.7% to 1.9% during the first two weeks of June

Al Ansari then further noted that the average percentage of positive tests in the past two weeks ranged between 4.3% to 10%, with an average of 6.5%, compared to 4.7% to 9% for the period 1-14 June.

Turning to the basic reproductive ratio for the past 2 weeks, Al ansari added that it ranged between 1.1 and 1.4, a significant decrease compared to the period between 1 to 14 June. A ratio of 1 is necessary in order for Bahrain to successful overcome all COVID-19 challenges, he highlighted.

To conclude, Dr. Al Salman, reviewed the health status of active cases, confirming 4,593 stable cases from a total of 4,653 active cases. Currently, 58 COVID-19 cases are receiving treatment, of which 60 are in a critical condition. Dr. Al Salman noted that over 621,000 tests have been conducted to date.

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