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|2020 coronavirus pandemic in Bahrain|
Map of the outbreak in Bahrain
Confirmed cases reported
Suspected cases reported
|First outbreak||Wuhan, Hubei, China|
|Arrival date||21 February 2020|
(1 month, 1 week and 6 days)
On 24 February, a Bahraini woman arriving at the Bahrain International Airport from Iran via Dubai was examined as part of the precautionary measures and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. She had arrived from Iran with her husband and sister in-law. Everyone was moved to isolation. Bahrain suspended all flights from Dubai Airport and Sharjah Airport for 48 hours. It also announced a travel ban on Iran.
On 25 February, Bahrain confirmed nine new cases, raising the total count to 17 cases. The nine cases involved four Bahraini women and two Bahraini men coming from Iran via Sharjah, two Saudi women coming from Iran through Sharjah and one Bahraini coming through Dubai.
Civil Aviation Affairs in Bahrain announced that suspension of flights to and from Dubai International Airport was extended for an additional 48 hours. Flights to and from Iraq and Lebanon were suspended until further notice. The Health Ministry announced compulsory health check ups for all citizens and residents who traveled to Iran in February.
On 27 February, Bahrain confirmed seven new cases, raising the total count to 33 cases. Most of the new cases came from Iran via indirect flights. Infected individuals were taken to Ebrahim Khalil Kanoo Community Medical Center for isolation. On 28 February, Bahrain confirmed two new cases, a Bahraini national and a Saudi Arabia national who had come from Iran via indirect flights. As of 28 February, there have been 38 confirmed cases in Bahrain.
On 8 March, the Health minister of Bahrain said that there are 94 confirmed cases and 14 recovered cases.
On 12 March, hundreds of prisoners were ordered released. At this point, among countries with at least one million citizens, Bahrain had the world's fourth-highest per capita rate of positive COVID-19 cases in the world, at 114.6 cases per million people (twice the rate of China).
On 16 March, the Ministry of Health reported that a 65-year-old Bahraini woman had died from the coronavirus, marking the first death in Bahrain and the Gulf from the disease. The woman was believed to suffer from chronic diseases. On the same day, the national coronavirus task force launched an appeal for volunteers to provide medical and administrative support during the crisis. The Civil Aviation Authority also announced a significant reduction of incoming flights to Bahrain.
On 17 March, the Bahraini government unveiled an $11.39 billion stimulus package to support the country's economy during the pandemic, also covering water and electricity bills over the next 3 months.
On 22 March, a 51 year old Bahraini female was reported to have died from coronavirus, becoming the second confirmed death in the country. The woman contracted the disease while in Iran and was amongst a group of Bahrainis repatriated from the country in February. She was believed to have had chronic health problems and was quarantined upon arrival to Bahrain. On the same day, Bahrain banned public gatherings of more than 5 individuals with all gatherings in public parks and beaches being strictly prohibited - violators could be punished by a fine of 5000 Bahraini dinars[A] and/or 3 years imprisonment. The country also announced it was participating in the World Health Organization's SOLIDARITY trial which researches new evidence-based treatment modalities for coronavirus - being the first such Arab country to participate.
On 23 March, the National Taskforce for Combating the Coronavirus designated the Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre as the main testing centre for COVID-19. The centre is divided into three separate halls depending on COVID-19 exposure, a rapid treatment area, and a pharmacy. It has at least 500 beds and 1,200 seats for patients.
On 24 March, a 65-year-old Bahraini male with chronic illnesses died of the coronavirus, becoming the third confirmed death in the country. Bahrain banned the export of hand sanitizers and detergents for a period of 3 months owing to unprecedented domestic demand. The same day, the Central Bank of Bahrain ordered currency exchange companies to sterilise local and international currencies by exposing banknotes to ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, high temperatures, or isolating them for at least three days as a precautionary act to safeguard bank employees and the public. The country's lower house of parliament approved an urgent proposal for a partial curfew from 6 pm to 5 am which is to be reviewed by the upper house of parliament. Only 23 out of the 40 MPs were present during the three-hour session and 19 voted in favour, with 2 against and 2 abstaining.
On 25 March, a 78-year-old Bahraini male with chronic illnesses reportedly died of the coronavirus, becoming the fourth confirmed death in the country. On the same day, a group of 61 Bahraini pilgrims were evacuated from Iran on a chartered flight and placed in quarantine or treatment centers, 30% of whom tested positive for COVID-19.
The executive committee of the Bahraini government announced the closure of all non-essential commercial enterprises from March 26 onward. Exceptions to this rule included supermarkets, banks, bakeries, and healthcare facilities. The closure would take effect at 7 pm on March 26 and last until 7 pm on April 9. All businesses will be allowed to re-open from April 9 to April 23.
On 28 March, the National Health Regulatory Authority announced that asymptomatic patients can seek private healthcare treatment at their own expense at the Regis Hotel, Best Western Hotel, and Taj Plaza Hotel which would be staffed by healthcare professionals from the Middle East Hospital. Additionally, the Novotel Hotel is also manned by medical staff from the Bahrain Specialist Hospital.
On 30 March, the Ministry of Health set up COVID-19 sampling stations in Manama, Durrat Al Bahrain and Budaiya, aimed at processing random test samples from the elderly and populations at risk to the virus. This included workers in supermarkets, bakeries and pharmacies. The Civil Defence announced that it had conducted 5,618 disinfection operations across the country. St. Christopher's School began 3-D printing face visors for healthcare staff at the Bahrain Defence Force Hospital and Awali Cardiac Centre.
On 31 March, Bahrain's Information & eGovernment Authority released the BeAware Bahrain application on the Apple & Google Play store. The application uses GPS location data to alert users about nearby active cases of COVID-19 or locations visited by positive cases of the disease.
On 1 April, the Ministry of Health announced over 316 patients with COVID-19 have recovered since the start of the outbreak and that more than 34,159 people had been tested for the virus.