Bahrain: Coronavirus Test Costs Exceeds $40 Million, Most Tests Made for Expatriates

2020-04-27 - 11:31 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Until Friday, April 24, 2020, the cost of tests carried out by medical staff as part of the campaign to combat the coronavirus epidemic exceeded 15 million dinars. One of the main reasons for the increase of virus cases is its outbreak among expatriates, most of whom live in difficult humanitarian conditions which the authorities neglected to solve, preferring to back the trade sector.

A video footage of Sa'sa'a bin Sohan Street in the capital Manama showed an unusual overcrowding of foreign workers and open shops, reflecting the leniency in implementing closure and gatherings ban by the Interior Ministry. Citizens say the overcrowded roads in Manama and Al-Houra confirms a major failure in implementing closures and social distancing measures. A source confirmed that the recent infections recorded among workers are mostly from the Manama and Al-Houra areas.

Figures show that in just 24 hours Bahrain spent 829,000 and 688 dinars on medical tests for the coronavirus.

Until Friday, April 24, 2020, the Ministry of Health said via its official website that 107,273 tests had been carried out so far in the campaign against the epidemic.

On April 18, the Undersecretary of the Health Ministry Walid Al-Manae said that the cost of a single test is 148 dinars. He added in comments to Bahrain TV that the cost of a patient's care does not stop at testing, but extends to quarantine and providing maximum care if the patient's condition requires it, noting that the cost might reach 800 dinars. However, a case that requires care on a medical bed costs up to 130 dinars.

In a simple calculation, the cost of 107,273 examinations is 15 million, 876,000 and 404,404 BD, which amounts to more than $40.5 million.

Bahrain is known to be in a difficult economic situation, and according to international figures, the country's public debt exceeds its GDP. Public debt is expected to exceed 15 billion dinars.

The number of coronavirus infections in Bahrain has reached 1,397 so far, with expatriates accounting for at least 90% of the cases.

The big traders in the country took advantage of the crisis, stopped paying any fees, and stopped paying workers for 3 months, in addition to putting the Liquidity Fund containing 200 million dinars in their grasp. Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry failed to prevent the gatherings of workers and failed to implement  closure measures recommended by the health authorities that are managing the epidemic crisis.

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