2020 coronavirus pandemic in Bahrain

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2020 coronavirus pandemic in Bahrain
COVID-19 Outbreak Cases in Bahrain.svg
Map of the outbreak in Bahrain
  Confirmed cases reported
  Suspected cases reported
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
First outbreakWuhan, Hubei, China
Index caseManama
Arrival date21 February 2020
(1 month, 1 week and 6 days)
Confirmed cases635[1]

The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic was confirmed to have reached Bahrain in February 2020.



On 21 February 2020, Bahrain confirmed the first COVID-19 cases, a school bus driver who came from Iran via Dubai.[2]

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.[3] Bahrain suspended all flights from Dubai Airport and Sharjah Airport for 48 hours.[2] It also announced a travel ban on Iran.[4][5]

On 25 February, Bahrain confirmed nine new cases, raising the total count to 17 cases.[2] 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.[2]

Bahrain suspended all schools, nurseries and universities for two weeks to curb the spread of COVID-19 infection.[4] CBSE exams were postponed.[6]

On 26 February, Bahrain confirmed nine new cases, raising the total count to 26 cases, including three new cases involving three women travelling to the country from Iran.[7][8]

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.[9] The Health Ministry announced compulsory health check ups for all citizens and residents who traveled to Iran in February.[10]

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.[9][11] On 28 February, Bahrain confirmed two new cases, a Bahraini national and a Saudi Arabia national who had come from Iran via indirect flights.[12] As of 28 February, there have been 38 confirmed cases in Bahrain.[12]


On 8 March, the Health minister of Bahrain said that there are 94 confirmed cases and 14 recovered cases.[13]

On 12 March, hundreds of prisoners were ordered released.[14] 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).[15]

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.[16] 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.[17]

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.[18]

The Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre

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.[19] 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.[20] 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.[21]

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.[22]

On 24 March, a 65-year-old Bahraini male with chronic illnesses died of the coronavirus, becoming the third confirmed death in the country.[23] Bahrain banned the export of hand sanitizers and detergents for a period of 3 months owing to unprecedented domestic demand.[24] 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.[25] 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.[26]

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.[27][28]

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.[29]

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.[30] Additionally, the Novotel Hotel is also manned by medical staff from the Bahrain Specialist Hospital.[31]

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.[32] St. Christopher's School began 3-D printing face visors for healthcare staff at the Bahrain Defence Force Hospital and Awali Cardiac Centre.[33]

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.[34]


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.[35]


  1. ^ equivalent to US $13,520, UK £10,658 as of 2020.03.29
  1. ^ a b "COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK". 13 March 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "Bahrain coronavirus case No. 1: A school bus driver". Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  3. ^ "Second case of coronavirus detected in Bahrain". 23 February 2020. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Bahrain suspends all private, public schools amid coronavirus outbreak". 24 February 2020. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  5. ^ "Bahrain announces travel ban on Iran amid coronavirus outbreak". 24 February 2020. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  6. ^ "Bahrain News: CBSE Board exams postponed amid coronavirus outbreak". Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  7. ^ "Bahrain confirms 3 new cases of novel coronavirus". Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  8. ^ "Bahrain announces 26 coronavirus cases". Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  9. ^ a b "Coronavirus: 7 new cases in Bahrain, total up to 33". Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  10. ^ "Bahrain to test anyone who traveled to Iran in last month for coronavirus". 25 February 2020. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  11. ^ "Bahrain reports 7 new cases of coronavirus bringing total to 33". 25 February 2020. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  12. ^ a b "Bahrain reports two new cases of coronavirus, one a Saudi national". Reuters. 28 February 2020. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  13. ^ "تزايد أعداد المصابين بفيروس كورونا في دول عربية ومصر تفحص نزلاء فنادق مدينة الأقصر". BBC News Arabic. 9 March 2020 – via
  14. ^ "Gulf States Cancel Events, Kuwait Shuts Mosques Over Coronavirus". Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  15. ^ "Confirmed Cases and Deaths by Country, Territory, or Conveyance". Worldometer. 12 March 2020. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  16. ^ "Coronavirus: Bahrain reports first Gulf death from disease". Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  17. ^ "Bahrain calls for volunteers | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN". DT News. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  18. ^ "Bahrain offers $11.39bn package to offset Covid-19 impact". Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  19. ^ Al Amir, Khitam. "Bahrain reports second COVID-19 death". Gulf News. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  20. ^ "Covid-19: Bahrain bans public gatherings exceeding 5 people". Khaleej Times. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  21. ^ "Covid-19: Bahrain bans public gatherings of more than 5". Khaleej Times. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  22. ^ "Covid-19 testing at Bahrain exhibition centre". Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  23. ^ "The third death in the Kingdom of Bahrain due to complications of Coronavirus | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN". DT News. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  24. ^ "Ministry bans export of hand sanitizers, disinfectants". The Daily Tribune. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  25. ^ "Coronavirus: Bahrain orders forex firms to sterilise banknotes". Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  26. ^ "Bahrain's parliament backs partial curfew plan to limit spread of Covid-19". Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  27. ^ "Evacuees brought back home". DT News. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  28. ^ "Thirty per cent of evacuees on Wednesday flight test positive | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN". DT News. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  29. ^ "Bahrain to close non-essential businesses in coronavirus clampdown". Arab News. 25 March 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  30. ^ "Middle East Hospital to care for asymptomatic COVID-19 positive patients - THE DAILY TRIBUNE". DT News. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  31. ^ "NHRA grants licences to private hospitals for COVID-19 care | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN". DT News. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  32. ^ "Random test samples of Bahraini citizens collected for Covid-19". Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  33. ^ "School making face visors for health workers in Bahrain". Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  34. ^ "Bahrain's iGA launches Covid-19 awareness app". Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  35. ^ "Recovered COVID-19 cases reach 316 | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN". DT News. Retrieved 1 April 2020.

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