The National Medical Taskforce for Combatting the 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.
The Taskforce announced that, based on COVID-19 positivity rates, the Kingdom of Bahrain will adopt the Green Alert Level starting on Friday, 3 September 2021.
The Taskforce stressed the importance of adhering to all precautionary measures and urged citizens and residents to get vaccinated and receive a booster shot if eligible.
The Director General for Schools Affairs at the Ministry of Education, HE Dr. Mohamed Mubarak Juma, stated that remote learning will be applied to all age groups at the Red Alert Level. At the Orange, Yellow, and Green Alert Levels, the choice of in-person or remote learning will be left to parents.
Under the Green Alert Level, 100% of students are allowed to attend in-person lessons with consistent use of social distancing of at least half a metre. Maximum capacity will be reduced to 50% during the Yellow Alert Level and 30% during the Orange Alert Level, respectively, with consistent use of social distancing of at least 1-metre.
Dr. Juma also stated that the number of staff permitted to return to work in-person at public educational institutions differs depending upon the Ministry of Educations needs across each Alert Level. For private educational institutions, the number of returning staff is subject to their discretion.
The Ministry of Education has issued a guide to returning to schools and educational institutions, which includes instructions and guidelines to preserve the health and safety of students and faculty.
Dr. Juma stressed that during the 2021-2022 school year Bahrain will continue its efforts to preserve the health of the children, wishing them a successful and safe school year.
The Ministry of Health’s Undersecretary for Public Health and member of the National Medical Taskforce for Combatting the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Dr. Mariam Al Hajeri, highlighted the importance of adhering to all the Green Alert Level’s precautionary measures, particularly the procedures related to the start of the new school year, in order to ensure the safe return of students and administrative and educational staff.
Following the successful vaccination of 80% of adults aged 40 years and over with a booster shot, Dr Al Hajeri expressed the appreciation of the Taskforce to all for their awareness and sense of national responsibility in following the precautionary measures needed.
Dr. Al Hajeri stressed that in order to maintain progress, the Taskforce urges all those eligible for a booster shot to register to receive the dose. Eligible individuals can register through the BeAware application or by visiting the website www.healthalert.gov.bh.
For his part, Infectious Disease Consultant and Microbiologist at the BDF Hospital and member of the National Medical Taskforce for Combatting the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Lt. Col. Doctor Manaf Al Qahtani, reiterated the importance of taking the booster shot to enhance community immunity.
Dr. Manaf reviewed the study’s results carried out by the national medical team in cooperation with Columbia University, which was the first in the world. The study proves the effectiveness of vaccinations, even with the presence of the Delta variant.
Dr. Manaf added that indicators show the effectiveness of vaccinations in reducing serious complications and mortality caused by the virus. The report showed that non-vaccinated individuals accounted for 79% of deaths in June 2021, during which period the mutated Delta strain was spread. Dr. Manaf called on eligible citizens and residents to get vaccinated and receive a booster shot to support efforts to combat the COVID-19.
The Consultant of Infectious Diseases and Internal Diseases at Salmaniya Medical Complex and Member of the National Medical Taskforce for Combatting the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Dr. Jameela Al Salman, noted that decreased infection rates, low number of cases in intensive care or receiving treatment, and the decrease in the number of deaths does not mean that the virus has been overcome.
Dr. Al Salman warned against falling into a false sense of security by neglecting precautionary measures and not getting vaccinated or the booster shot.
Dr. Al Salman urged people to abide by the Protection and Commitment slogan. Protection comes through vaccination and getting the booster shot. Commitment focuses on adhering to the precautionary measures until public health is safeguarded.
Dr. Al Salman confirmed that the Kingdom of Bahrain began vaccinating immunocompromised 3-11 year olds with the Sinopharm vaccine. Those aged between 12 to 17 have been offered either the Sinopharm or Pfizer-BioNtech vaccinations.
Dr. Al Salman urged all parents to take the initiative to register their children for a vaccination to preserve their health and safety.
Dr. Al Salman concluded by stressing the need to adhere to all announced procedures related to the return of students to schools and educational institutions.