The National Medical Taskforce for Combating the Coronavirus (COVID-19) today 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.
Speaking on the current state of transmissions, Dr. Waleed Khalifa Al Manea, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Health and member of the National Taskforce for Combating the Coronavirus (COVID-19), began by noting that contact tracing has detected a strong correlation between private gatherings and the recent rise in COVID-19 cases.
Dr. Al Manea went on to urge citizens and residents to respect the set precautionary health measures and avoid gatherings, particularly during the next two weeks, in order to break these chains of transmission.
Dr. Al Manea affirmed that the Ministry will continue to protect citizens and residents from the high number of COVID-19 cases stemming from private gatherings by postponing the beginning of the academic year by two weeks in order to scale-up COVID-19 testing of teachers and administrative staff, in accordance with directives issued by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister.
Furthermore, to prevent the formation of new chains of transmission, Dr. Al Manea added that the Ministry, in conjunction with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, will meticulously monitor restaurants as they reopen to ensure full compliance with precautionary health measures.
Turning to patient outcome, Dr. Al Manea explained that the recovery rate is currently at 90.83% with a 0.35% death rate. Isolation centre capacity stands at 19.2%, with 1,566 out of 8,149 beds occupied.
Speaking on the vaccine trials, 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), noted that over 3,000 participants have joined the phase III clinical trial for a COVID-19 inactivated vaccine, held in collaboration with G42 Healthcare, an artificial intelligence company based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Dr. Manaf added that the vaccine trial, which aims to enlist up to 6,000 adults, welcomes volunteers over the age of 18 at the Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre between the hours of 8:00 and 20:00. Participants must be willing to undergo a health assessment, in accordance with set health requirements.
To conclude, the Consultant of Infectious and Internal Diseases at Salmaniya Medical Complex and member of the National Medical Taskforce for Combating the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Dr. Jameela Salman, reviewed the health status of active cases, confirming 4,972 stable cases from a total of 5,002 active cases. Currently, 90 COVID-19 cases are receiving treatment, of which 30 are in a critical condition. Dr. Al Salman noted that 1,194,000 tests have been conducted to date.