Coronavirus: Gov't Sought Help from Italy, Not UAE or KSA
2020-07-14 - 8:14 p
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): While Bahrain ranked fourth on Johns Hopkins University scale for the worst places in terms of the most COVID-19 cases in the past week, with an average of 2,200 infections per million people, the infections in the country exceeded 30,000 and recorded 100 deaths.
According to Hopkins, in the past seven days, Bahrain outperformed Qatar and Oman in terms of infections with respect to population. Bahrain was preceded by only some U.S. states that were included in the scale as separate places.
Internationally, Bahrain has become the third country across the world in terms of Coronavirus cases with respect to population, after Qatar and San Marino. Bahrain is the second country after Qatar in terms of countries that have a population of more than 100,000.
Contrary to the statement of Bahrain Health Ministry Undersecretary Walid Al-Mena'a a few weeks ago that the virus is spreading among Bahrainis at a faster rate than among foreigners (inside the country), the number of infected Bahrainis is unknown.
A contact tracking page on the Ministry of Health's website shows that many Bahraini cases have been detected through random street and community screening campaigns, while other cases (at least six) are of Pakistanis who also hold Bahraini citizenship, who have recently arrived from Pakistan in an evacuation campaign.
Also, a number of cases were in contact with a large number of infected people (from 7 to 10 persons).
While the Ministry of Health claimed that home isolation for the infected was optional, more than one source confirmed that the authorities had forced a number of infected people into home isolation and refused isolating them in the hospital.
Citizens questioned the authorities' figures and reported that at least two deaths occurred at home of elderly people, who had not been diagnosed, but their deaths had been linked to the disease.
Over a period of 34 days, Bahrain has recorded, on a daily basis, 79 deaths from the disease (between June 2 and July 7), and no deaths were reported in the past two days, although the number of infections has not declined. However, the Ministry of Health announced 4 new deaths, bringing the total to 102.
Citizens reported that the virus reached one of Bilad Al-Qadeem's neighborhoods, resulting in a large number of infections. Eulogy reciter Fadhel Al-Biladi was infected. 52 patients, whose lives are at risk, are in the intensive care rooms.
The Coronavirus outbreak in Bahrain is still preventing the country from catching up with neighboring countries in easing restrictions on movement and returning to normalcy. The streets are still quiet from traffic, mosques are closed, parks are closed, Saudi causeway is closed, and the airport receives only 4 flights a day. Cafes and restaurants are only open for takeaways, the summer semester at the university is held online, information about registration in universities and schools is ambiguous, and the authorities have officially declared an economic recession, and many employees are being laid off.
Bahrain ranks last on the Health Safety Index (on the Gulf States level). This indicator assesses even the political and security risk on health and considers it high in Manama. Not all of Bahrain's indicator values are negative, and its assessment is not far from Qatar, but it is not ready to tolerate all of this. Its human capacity of doctors and nursing staff (especially after the wave of exclusion and marginalization), hospitals, infrastructure and political management, can't endure all of this.
A few days earlier, President of the Supreme Council of Health Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa received two senior doctors within an Italian delegation visiting the country- or perhaps it was called to urgently visit the country. Both of the doctors were in Bahrain in person, the meeting wasn't held online as it is the case with government meetings.
The official statement said that the delegation presented its experience in fighting the coronavirus. They said they looked forward to working closely with Bahrain to review the treatment protocols used in the centers and to visiting the treatment centers in the military hospital, Sitra Field Hospital, and the Center for Genetic Hematology during their one-month visit.
It is very clear that the Italian delegation's visit is an advisory visit rather than an exchange of expertise as the government is trying to show. The government has not received any foreign envoys in the country for months, but it is doing it shamelessly today because it needs help.
Is it shameful to ask for help? Why didn't Bahrain seek help from neighboring countries instead of Italy? Why didn't it ask for the help of the UAE, which has been ranked among the best countries in the world in dealing with the pandemic, noting that it has become close to controlling it and has even sent an aid plane to Iran? Why didn't it ask Saudi Arabia, the 47th on the world's health safety index? Why was the medical delegation Italian and not Saudi or Emirati? Why have we not seen one of our Saudi and Emirati brothers lending a hand to this ill country?