Half a Year into Coronavirus Pandemic: 112,000 BD Collected by State from "Mask" Violations, Bahrain Hits 50,000 Cases

2020-09-02 - 10:35 م

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The Bahraini security authorities have issued 22,000 tickets over no-mask violations during the span of 4 months. The state collected more than 112,000 BD (about $300,000) in cash, since the 5-dinar fine is paid in cash and on the spot.

Six months after the first Coronavirus case was reported in Bahrain, the cumulative cases reached 50,000, on a date that fully matched with the forecast issued by a statistical observatory about a month ago. However, the observatory's own forecast was not right about the total number of existing cases, which it said will fall below 900 on August 26, as the number of active cases remains above 3,100.

On the level of Gulf States, Qatar has achieved the best results in its fight against the pandemic. Although it is the first in the world in terms of number of cases with respect to population, Qatar has significantly flattened the infection curve, which has fallen very sharply, and has been kept stable. As Oman approaches Qatar's achievement in terms of stabilizing the rate of infections and existing cases, Saudi Arabia continues to experience a steady decline in infections. In Kuwait, the indicators fluctuate as they relatively increase. The UAE has been witnessing since the middle of this month a second surge in infections and total number of active cases.

Bahrain is also fluctuating, but the rate of infections has declined relatively significantly in the second half of this month, with the average weekly infections falling from 392 (mid-month) to 349, and the number of critical cases admitted to intensive care unit to only 32 (after exceeding 90 mid-last month). Meanwhile, only 68 cases of the existing cases are receiving treatment.

More than 93% of people who have contracted the Coronavirus have recovered, one of the highest percentages in the world.

However, the overall assessment of the epidemiological situation in the country remains unclear and worrying. Bahrain remained second, after Qatar, in terms of the number of infections (in countries with a population of more than 100,000), and in less than a month the country recorded 45 new deaths due to the epidemic, bringing up the death toll to 189.

The proportion of infections among Bahrainis continued to outnumber foreigners, reaching 62% of all weekly cases. Ministry of Health statistics show that four cases alone have infected 63 other people (including children) through family contact and gatherings in the past week alone. 

A few days ago, the authorities celebrated the completion of one million tests (PCR nose swab) for the virus since the beginning of the crisis, and the number of tests increased to more than 10,000 daily, registering Bahrain with the third largest rate of testing in the world (in countries with a population of more than 100,000).

However, citizens complained that private hospitals exploited the need to make voluntary check-ups to raise the cost of screening to BD70 (for quick results), although most of the tests in these hospitals are analyzed in government laboratories. In the same context, the government imposed a fee of 60 dinars on people coming to the country to carry out compulsory Coronavirus tests.

The authorities had overturned a 10-day home quarantine measure imposed on all arrivals after the recent opening of air traffic, limiting it to those with a positive result.

The form of study in the next semester, which begins in about two weeks, is unclear, as the Ministry of Education has kept silent on the results of an electronic questionnaire that parents have been asked to fill out to determine their choice regarding the pattern of study (distance education or school attendance two days a week with the number of students per semester reduced to half). The Ministry of Education did not announce the percentage or number of students who chose to attend the school, and only announced the number of respondents (112,000 parents), stressing its readiness to the"safe" return to schools.

In terms of easing restrictions, the authorities have finally allowed mosques to open for dawn prayers only from Friday, August 28, 2020.


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