Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The National Taskforce for Combating COVID-19 underlines the importance of adhering to precautionary measures

The National 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 the latest COVID-19 developments.

The Undersecretary at the Ministry of Health and member of the National Taskforce for Combating the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Dr. Waleed Al Manea, began by reiterating the Kingdom’s continued commitment to ensuring all measures are taken to preserve the health and safety of the community.

Dr. Al Manea underscored that, during the next phase of COVID-19 mitigation, adhering to all health and precautionary measures is the responsibility of every individual in the Kingdom in order to ensure the safety of their families and the community. On this note, Dr. Al Manea stressed that individuals must contact the Kingdom’s health authorities as soon as they experience COVID-19 related symptoms, adding that doing so would guarantee swift isolation and treatment while limiting potential public exposure to active cases.

Regarding the noticeable recent spike in COVID-19 cases, Dr. Al Manea highlighted that some individuals have failed to follow precautionary measures, having held large family gatherings during the holy month of Ramadan and the Eid Al-Fitr holidays, which has caused an increase in the rate of COVID-19 among Bahraini nationals compared with expatriates.

Dr. Al Manea emphasised the importance of ensuring family gatherings are limited to individuals living in the same household, being in public only when necessary, wearing masks, and abiding by social distancing regulations.

Additionally, Dr. Al Manea emphasised the importance of following the new expanded face mask protocols recently announced by the National Taskforce for Combating the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Face masks should be worn in public, and when around elderly individuals or individuals with underlying health problems living in the same household. Individuals driving a car, or practising strenuous exercises such as running or swimming do not need to wear a face mask during those activities.

Dr. Al Manea then noted that the Kingdom’s current isolation and treatment capacity has increased as follows:

  • Isolation and treatment capacity stands at 7,187 beds, of which 4,884 are currently occupied
  • Quarantine capacity stands at 3,410 beds, of which 599 are currently occupied

Dr. Al Manea added that isolation and treatment remains available and free for all, adding that those who wish to receive treatment at a private facility also have the option to do so at their own expense.

For his part, the Infectious Disease Consultant & Microbiologist at the BDF Hospital and Member of the National Taskforce for Combating the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Lt. Col. Dr. Manaf Al Qahtani, underlined that each individual is responsible for adhering to all precautionary measures.

Dr. Al Qahtani further highlighted the precautionary measures that must be followed to ensure the safety of individuals and families when returning home from public. The measures include placing shoes worn in public outside the household and disinfecting them, placing all objects on an individual in a box by the entrance, wearing a mask and gloves to disinfect objects and clothing, and removing and disinfecting any bags brought from outside whilst wearing gloves and masks. Individuals must also wash hands with soap and water for no less than 40 seconds and ensure clothing worn in public is placed in a laundry basket and washed.

Later, the Consultant of Infectious and Internal Diseases at Salmaniya Medical Complex, Dr. Jameela Al Salman, noted the commitment of the Ministry of Health to increase its daily testing capacity, adding that as of today, more than 330,000 tests have been conducted.

Dr. Al Salman further noted that a large number of individuals have recovered thanks to the Kingdom’s treatment protocol and the care provided to existing cases.

On this note, Dr. Al Salman reviewed the health status of active COVID-19 cases, confirming that there are 4,884 active cases in the Kingdom, of which 4,875 are stable and 9 remain critical. Dr. Al Salman further added that 7,407 patients have fully recovered and have been discharged from their designated isolation and treatment centres.

Dr. Al Salman also highlighted the importance of following all health and social distancing guidelines, including limiting family gatherings. In this regard, Dr. Al Salman emphasised the importance of continuing to wash hands regularly using water and soap, using alcohol-based hand sanitisers, frequently disinfecting surfaces and objects that are used regularly, covering the mouth when coughing, immediately disposing of used napkins and tissues, and avoiding direct contact with anyone with a fever or a cough.

Dr. Al Salman concluded the press conference by noting that individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should contact the 444 hotline number and follow the guidelines provided, stressing that it is everyone’s responsibility to rigorously follow all health guidelines to ensure the safety of the community.

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