Bahrain’s National Taskforce, during its 22 May weekly press conference, reported steady numbers of Coronavirus infections, with 164 new cases recorded during the previous 24 hours. The total number of cases so far is 8,338; representing 4,300 active cases and 4,462 fully recovered. 3,873 individuals have departed quarantine facilities.

The death toll stands at 12 cases, with only eight individuals registered as “critical” and requiring intensive hospital treatment.

The decision has been taken to ease some nationwide restrictions, while keeping social-distancing guidelines in place:

·       Non-essential medical services will resume operations
·     Commercial and industrial businesses can resume usual operations; although workers must wear masks and provisions must be put in place to avoid crowded work-places and ensure thorough disinfection processes.
·       Salons and barber shops will reopen from May 27.
·    Professional sports-players can resume their training in outdoor spaces and swimming pools.
·       Outdoor cinemas are permitted to operate. Indoor cinemas will remain closed.

Officials and citizens have expressed relief that Bahrain has successfully traversed the Ramadan period without the need to implement a full lockdown, while case numbers remain under control and health facilities have been capable of managing demand. While essential shops have remained open, the public was required to wear masks outdoors and in public areas.

Among the international officials who have praised Bahrain’s handling of the crisis, International Organisation for Migration chief António Vitorino commended measures taken by the kingdom for supporting expats and dealing with illegal workers during the pandemic.

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