I hear some people complain about the high number of Covid-19 infections and deaths in Bahrain. This is really sad because it contradicts all our expectations. However, we all share the responsibility for the current situation.
I am surprised how someone can blame the National Taskforce for Combating the Coronavirus (Covid-19) for the increasing numbers. This is complete injustice and a total disregard for the great efforts made by this team and Bahrain for a year and a half.
How can we leave the ship in the midst of a storm and then go to the captain’s cabin to tell him that he is the one who caused the storm? Shouldn’t we, instead, provide every possible assistance to help him? Are we not afraid that the captain could easily get exasperated by us, get on his lifeboat, leave the ship, abandoning us to face our inevitable fate?
Do we need to be reminded of the great gifts our leadership has made for us during the pandemic? Bahrain was at the forefront of the world in anticipating the pandemic, and developed all scenarios, and made all preparations even before the first infection was recorded in Bahrain. When the health sectors in countries such as Italy, France, and even the US were suffering and collapsing, the elderly in Bahrain were getting free healthcare services and medicines right to their homes.
We have exceeded the 70 per cent rate in vaccinations, and we are very close to achieving general immunity, or what is called herd immunity. But why are the numbers of infections and deaths still high despite all those tremendous efforts?
I am with the national task force in every word it says and on top of the list of offenders is family gatherings. Many of the vaccinated people believed that once they have received the vaccine, they have a “licence” to do whatever they want. They returned to family and friends’ gathering and abandoned the precautionary measures. The virus, in the meantime, mutated and became stronger and more deadly – and subsequently spread like wildfire.
Health is very important, it is the most important thing that God Almighty has bestowed upon us. The economy is also important, and the financial situation in Bahrain was not at its best even before the pandemic. Now the pandemic has caused the collapse of global companies and major economies resulting in high unemployment rates and spreading poverty.
Therefore, Bahrain has the right to think about reopening the economy, receiving visitors and tourists from outside Bahrain, and finding additional financial resources in innovative ways. This can be achieved by activating airlines, producing vaccines in Bahrain, helping Bahraini companies to export, and revitalise the real estate sector among a host of other solutions.
The national cohesion that emerged through the initiative of Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa confirms that we are capable of prevailing over this health crisis. We have, collectively, overcome previous crises and emerged from them stronger and more determined to face challenges and accomplish enormous achievements.
I read about the directives of His Majesty King Hamad regarding vaccinating Bahraini citizens abroad. I also read about the opening of an additional expansion to receive Covid-19 patients at the exhibition centre, and I read about the heroic Bahraini girl “Jourieh” who challenged cancer and overcame it.
They are all stories about determination and courage to inspire everyone how to overcome all challenges.