Questions & answers
COVID-19 is a new strain of a coronavirus that has been discovered recently in China and has spread around the world.
- Shortness of breath.
- Loss of the sense of smell and taste.
- Digestive symptoms.
- Symptoms of upper respiratory infection: sore throat, runny nose.
- Myalgia (muscle pain).
- There are cases that do not develop symptoms until after a laboratory diagnosis.
It can be transmitted from person to person by:
- Direct contact.
- Droplets from sneezing, coughing, or talking.
- Wear a mask when out in public.
- Follow health and social distancing guidelines.
- Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly using soap and water. Use alcohol-based sanitizers.
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently used.
- Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing and dispose of used tissues properly.
- Avoid contact with people experiencing fever or suffering from a cough.
Staying home during the specified period and complying with the following instructions:
- Avoid contact with others, isolate yourself in a room and use a separate bathroom.
- When absolutely necessary to contact someone, wear a face mask, gloves and keep as much distance as possible between yourself and any other individuals, including pets.
- Do not share your personal or household belongings with others including dishes, cups, towels, bedsheets, and regularly clean and disinfect surfaces and door knobs.
- Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing using a tissue and make sure to properly dispose any used wipes in a sealed trash can, immediately wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Assign a personal trash can and make sure to use double bags to prevent any leaks. Waste must be kept in a separated area within the household for 3 days (72 hours) before disposing it with other household waste.
- When experiencing any of the following symptoms: cough, fever or shortness of breath within the 14 days period immediately call 444 and request medical care.
- Download the “BeAware Bahrain” app on your smartphone
According to law number (34) of the year 2018 by issuing the public health law and the decisions issued for its implementation. Violators are to be imprisoned for no longer than 3 months and a fine no less than 1000BD and no more than 10,000BD or one of these sanctions to all those that willfully hide an infected person, exposed others to infection, transmitted the virus willfully, or refused to follow any of preventive measures.
1. Triage clinic for optional home self-isolation
- The doctor examines the active case and assess its medical condition.
- Self-isolation rules are explained to the active case and medical supplies such as masks, gloves, sanitizers and medicines are given to the active case, if required.
- An electronic bracelet is to be placed on the active case to make sure of compliance with the self-isolation measures.
2. Periodic follow-up
- Representatives of the Ministry of Health will follow-up with the active case via a telephone call and through the “BeAware Bahrain” app.
- If any symptoms appear on the active case, the patient will be transferred to one of isolation and treatment centers to undergo necessary checkups or receive treatment.
3- Ending the optional home self-isolation period
- After finishing the optional home self-isolation period, which is 10 days, the active case must head to the nearest medical center and provide the acknowledgment form.
- The electronic bracelet is removed by the representatives of the Ministry of Health.
- In case of experiencing any symptoms within 72 hours from ending the optional home self-isolation period please seek medical advice from the medical center.
- Masks must be worn in public at all times except when driving.
- Masks must be worn when taking a walk. However, masks are not required when participating in strenuous activities such as running, swimming or cycling.
- Masks must be worn when meeting all individuals, including those with chronic medical conditions or elders living within the same household.
- Masks are available at local pharmacies, stores and supermarkets.
- Reusable cotton masks are considered to be a preventive measure only when washing the mask regularly after each use.
- Masks can be made at home. Tutorials are available on the Ministry of Health’s YouTube page.
- Medical and surgical masks are preferably to be disposed immediately after usage. Fabric reusable masks can be washed and used after.
- When disposing of the mask do not touch its front, dispose it in a trash can and wash your hands with soap and water.
- When wearing a mask, the possibility of infection does not exceed 0.6%.
- Many private hospitals were given permits to conduct optional COVID-19 testing for a fee determined by the hospital providing the service. Individuals who are allowed to take COVID-19 tests across private hospitals include those who do not have active COVID-19, who are not suspected of having active COVID-19 and those who do not meet the requirements of COVDID-19 testing at public centers. Private hospitals that are licensed to perform COVID-19 testing include: American Mission Hospital (Manama) – Awali Hospital (Awali) – Al Kindi Specialized Hospital (Manama) – Bahrain Royal Hospital (Qudaibiya) – Ibn Al Nafees Hospital (Um Alhassam) – Middle East Hospital (Segaya – Manama) – Bahrain Specialist Hospital (Manama) – Doctor Tariq Hospital (Um Alhassam) – Alnoor Specialized Hospital (Manama) – King Abdulla Medical City (Segaya – Manama) – AlSalam Specialized Hospital (Al Bahair – Riffa) – Rayan Hospital (Riffa).
- Results are provided through the Ministry of Health’s website or through the ”BeAware Bahrain” App.
- Active cases, suspected cases, contacts of active cases are contacted to set a testing appointment date.
- An Exit Test swab is to be performed after the completion of the designated quarantine period, which is 10 days, through booking an advanced appointment by using the “BeAware Bahrain” App.
In accordance with national efforts to combat the COVID-19, the “BeAware Bahrain” app was released by the Information and eGovernment Authority in the Kingdom of Bahrain to ensure the safety of all its citizens and residents.
The app contributes in reducing the spread of virus as it uses the GPS function for the following:
- Alerting individuals in case they come in contact with a recent confirmed active case within the past 14 days.
- Following up with home self-isolation and quarantine cases during the 10 day period, confirming their location within their home range and not leaving their home.
- Booking for an Exit Test to be taken after finishing the designated quarantine period.
- Showcasing the latest official COVID-19 related statistics locally and globally.
- Providing the latest guidelines from health organizations and general information about the virus.
- Individuals under optional home self-isolation are provided with an electronic bracelet that connects to the app, providing an updated and continuous notification to the team set by the Ministry. In case of not abiding by the optional home self-isolation guidelines or moving away from the phone by a 15 meter distance and/or changing the set quarantine location, a notification will immediately be sent on the importance of committing to the health guidelines to ensure the safety of the individual and the community
- Individuals that are living in the same residence as an active COVID-19 case.
- Colleagues that have been in contact with the active case on a daily basis for more than 15 minutes and were in contact within a 2-meter radius without wearing a mask.
- Those that had direct contact with the active case. For example: shaking hands, touching any surfaces in the same place or coming in contact with droplets from the active case.
- Any individual that has been in a closed environment with the active case. For example: classrooms, meeting rooms, waiting rooms in hospitals, etc.
- Medical staff, or any individual that provides direct medical service to an active case, laboratory staff that work with coronavirus samples without wearing the safety equipment or in case of malfunctioning safety equipment.
- Passengers in a plane, bus, car or any transportation vehicle. Including travelling companions or medical service providers and cabin crew or drivers within the radius of an active case.
- All passengers in any transportation vehicle (plane, bus, cars or others) are to be considered as close contacts, if the symptoms of the active case are severe.
- Active cases are asked about all the individuals that they were in contact with, which assists in creating a list of contacts.
- All contacts of active cases are identified by tracing the timing and location of their last contact with the active case.
- Contacts of the active case are then subject to self-isolation procedures depending on the Ministry’s terms and conditions, and their information is updated in the Ministry of Health website’s contact tracing page.
- The contacts of active cases are notified, to set a test date and are provided with the necessary instructions.
- In case the test result is negative the contacts of active cases will be asked to self-isolate at home for 10 days and will be obligated to download the “BeAware Bahrain” App (the test results can be seen using the App or by visiting the Ministry of Health’s website).
- Three days before ending the self-isolation period, the contact of the active case must book an Exit Test appointment (appointments can be arranged through the “BeAware Bahrain” app or by calling 444).
- Contacts of active cases will be informed of their test results before exiting the self-isolation and will be provided with the necessary instructions.
- Optional home self-isolation can be implemented in a “villa or an apartment” ensuring the individual has a private room with a separate bathroom for the self-isolation period. The individual must avoid contact with any family members and have his/her own equipment.
- The self-isolation period contributes to mitigating and combating the spread of virus.
- The self-isolation period for all contacts of active cases is 10 days.
- Social distancing guidelines must be applied in work environments by keeping a 2-meter distance between employees. Wearing masks, regularly washing hands using soap and water and avoiding all gatherings at work .
- Sign language is provided in all conferences to ensure the deliverance of all the information to all members of society.
- Statistics of all cases are showcased on a daily basis within the official sites and social media accounts affiliated with the Ministry of Health.
- Volunteers can register through the National Volunteering Platform where registration has been opened upon the principle of social responsibility and sustaining cooperation and solidarity between the members of the community within the Kingdom of Bahrain.
- There is no evidence regarding the spread of the virus through postal shipments.
- Family gatherings should only be for family members that are living in the same household.
- COVID-19 is a new virus and there is still no evidence that it can be spread through food.