By Gavin Gibbon
All cases in the Middle East are linked to Iran, as four more cases are reported in Kuwait, bringing the total number there to 12
Bahrain has closed all public and private schools and nurseries for two weeks in a bid to contain the deadly coronavirus, with 26 cases now confirmed in the kingdom.
At a press conference on Tuesday it was also announced that retired medical professionals will be deployed to treat infected patients.
Bahrain has registered 26 cases among individuals arriving from Iran to the country’s international airport, via Dubai and Sharjah.
On Monday night, Bahrain ordered a temporary suspension of all flights coming in from Dubai and Sharjah.
Dr. Manaf Al Qahtani, infectious diseases consultant & microbiologist at the BDF Hospital, member of the national taskforce for combating the coronavirus (COVID-19), said all infected patients arriving from Iran are being tested in an isolated area of the airport before being transferred to the Ebrahim Khalil Kanoo Community Health Centre in Al Salmaniya, for isolation and treatment.
All individuals who have had contact with the infected patients are also under quarantine, as a precautionary measure.
He added: “There are no registered cases of human to human transmission of the COVID-19 within the kingdom.”
Four more cases have also been reported in Kuwait – three people who had travelled from Iran and are currently under quarantine.
It takes the number of cases in Kuwait up to 12.
“All patients are in stable conditions and receiving required medical care at a hospital affiliated to the ministry,” a statement from the Ministry of Health said.
Over the past two days, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman have reported 29 cases of the novel coronavirus among people returning from pilgrimages to Iran, which is battling the deadliest outbreak outside China.
The three countries have large Shiite Muslim populations who frequently travel to Iran to visit holy shrines.
Meanwhile, three pharmacies located in Budaiya, Riffa and Muharraq have been shut down for tampering with the prices of masks used for prevention against the novel coronavirus.
The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism clamped down on the three outlets which were found in breach of law 35 of 2012 on consumer protection.
According to a report on Bahrain News Agency: “Inspectors from the Control Directorate found that the pharmacies were concealing the protective masks and tampering with their prices, thus profiting from people’s concerns amid these exceptional circumstances.”
So far, there are over 140 confirmed cases in the Middle East, all of them linked to Iran.