Covid-19: Bahrain bans public gatherings of more than 5

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The region has expanded measures to combat the spread of the disease.


Published: Mon 23 Mar 2020, 5:50 AM

Last updated: Mon 23 Mar 2020, 9:08 AM

Bahrain reported a second death on Sunday, a citizen evacuated from Iran, taking the GCC's total deaths to four. The region has expanded measures to combat the spread of the disease.
On Sunday, the National Taskforce for Combating the coronavirus (Covid-19) held a press conference at the Crown Prince Center for Training and Medical Research at the Bahrain Defence Force Hospital to highlight updates on efforts made to contain Covid-19, and new measures to ensure the prevention of its spread.

Faeqa bint Saeed Al Saleh, the Minister of Health, commended the King's directives for mothers working in the public sector to work from home, noting that the royal directive ensures the safety of citizens and the community.
Al Saleh underlined that additional measures being introduced today are intended to further support efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19, and are designed to reinforce the importance of practicing social distancing, which has been proven to effectively mitigate the spread of the virus.
The minister also underscored the importance of staying at home and only leaving the house when necessary.
Al Saleh reiterated the ministry's continued coordinated efforts with relevant authorities in further intensifying measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus.
Al Saleh expressed her condolences to the family of the 51-year-old Bahraini citizen who passed away. The patient had been suffering from underlying and chronic health problems and was registered as an active case of Covid-19.
The minister emphasised that the Ministry's isolation and treatment capacities can accommodate all active cases, free of charge, for both citizens and residents. 
Al Saleh added that the ministry, after requests from citizens and residents, is in cooperation with private hospitals to facilitate treatment for those who wish to receive medical care from a private medical provider based on the necessary standards and regulations.
The minister outlined that it continues to cooperate with the private sector, whilst continuing to provide free Covid-19 treatment for all citizens and residents.
The minister recognised the noble efforts of the Kingdom's medical staff, noting that their role is pivotal to containing the spread of Covid-19 and adding that the Kingdom's united stance in combating Covid-19 is a source of great pride. 
Al Saleh highlighted that the first group of volunteers to be contacted will be those with a medical background.
Following press conference, Lieutenant-General Tariq bin Hassan Al Hassan, Chief of Public Security, made a explanatory statement.
He noted that legal measures will be taken with regards to any gathering of more than five people in public places, including, but not limited to markets, public parks and public beaches. Furthermore, the Chief of Public Security underlined the importance of leaving at least a metre between individuals in any group in order to ensure everyone's safety.
He said that that Article 121 of the Public Health Law established punishments for any person who refuses to implement any measures to prevent the spread a disease. The punishments include imprisonment for a period of no less than three months and a fine of no less than one thousand dinars and not exceeding ten thousand dinars, or one of these two penalties.
The Chief of Public Security explained that the police directorates in the Kingdom's governorates, represented by the Community Service Police, have organised awareness campaigns using several languages, with the aim of educating community members and foreign communities on the importance of following procedures and guidelines and avoiding gatherings.
He called on all citizens and residents to abide by the instructions and all precautionary measures, emphasising that all legal measures will be utilised in the case of violations, with perpetrators referred to the Public Prosecution.

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