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It’s been a year since we broke the news about the first confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Kingdom of Bahrain. On February 24, 2020, The Ministry of Health has confirmed the first case of the virus in the Kingdom. The first recorded case was of a citizen arriving from Iran. Every day since, we continue to learn so much about COVID-19 – finding new ways to control the pandemic that will keep us safer in the decades that will follow.

By the time Bahrain detected its first case of coronavirus a year ago, the pandemic had spread to several countries with more than 81,285 people already infected with the disease. On February 24, 2020, over 2,764 have already succumbed to the deadly virus.

Seven months after the first case was announced, Bahrain’s daily cases reached a record high of 841 new infections (September 16, 2020). Because of the sudden spike in cases, people were urged to continue following the precautionary measures in place to combat the pandemic. This resulted in a decrease of cases from late September to November.

A glimmer of hope

With new cases ranging from 250 and below from November to early December of 2020, there was hope that Bahrain might escape the pandemic with only minor bruises. However, this outbreak was very different.

Surge in cases

The daily cases increased again in January 25, 2021 with 413 new infections. The upward trend continued reaching a new record high of 896 new cases on February 12. At the time of writing, there are currently over 7,274 active cases in Bahrain.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Health announced that most of the new cases in the recent period are from the mutated virus strain, with the highest percentage due to family gatherings. Several precautionary measures have been updated in line with this.

Vaccines available

There are currently four vaccines available for citizens and residents in Bahrain: Sinopharm, Pfizer-BioNTech, Covishield-Astrazeneca, and Sputnik V.

Sinopharm is a vaccine made by a Chinese pharmaceutical group and was the vaccine tested during Bahrain’s clinical trials. Pfizer is made by the American Pfizer group and the German BioNTech company. Covishield is developed by AstraZeneca in cooperation with Oxford University, and is produced by the Serum Institute of India. Finally, Sputnik V is a vaccine developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.

A final note

Today, second waves and virus variants emphasize how unpredictable the situation is globally. A growing number of effective vaccines bring hope, but controlling this virus will only be possible if everyone is committed in following all precautionary measures.

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