The virus was confirmed to have reached Bahrain on 21 February 2020. As of 17 September, there have been a total of 62,484 confirmed cases, of which 55,444 have recovered and 217 have died. As of 9 October 2020, Bahrain has the highest number of cases per head of population of any country or territory in the world. A total of 1,288,374 tests were conducted.
On 21 February, Bahrain confirmed the first COVID-19 cases, a school bus driver who came from Iran via Dubai.On 24 February, a Bahraini woman arriving at the Bahrain International Airport from Iran via Dubai was examined as part of the precautionary measures and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. She had arrived from Iran with her husband and sister in-law. Everyone was moved to isolation.Bahrain suspended all flights from Dubai Airport and Sharjah Airport for 48 hours.On 28 February, Bahrain confirmed two new cases, a Bahraini national and a Saudi Arabia national who had come from Iran via indirect flights.As of 28 February, there have been 38 confirmed cases in Bahrai.
On 8 March, the Health minister of Bahrain said that there are 94 confirmed cases and 14 recovered cases.On 12 March, hundreds of prisoners were ordered released.At this point, among countries with at least one million citizens, Bahrain had the world’s fourth-highest per capita rate of positive COVID-19 cases in the world, at 114.6 cases per million people (twice the rate of China).On 17 March, the Bahraini government unveiled an $11.39 billion stimulus package to support the country’s economy during the pandemic, also covering water and electricity bills over the next 3 months.
On 24 March, a 65-year-old Bahraini male with chronic illnesses died of the coronavirus, becoming the third confirmed death in the country. Bahrain banned the export of hand sanitizers and detergents for a period of 3 months owing to unprecedented domestic demand. The same day, the Central Bank of Bahrain ordered currency exchange companies to sterilise local and international currencies by exposing banknotes to ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, high temperatures, or isolating them for at least three days as a precautionary act to safeguard bank employees and the public.The executive committee of the Bahraini government announced the closure of all non-essential commercial enterprises from March 26 onward. Exceptions to this rule included supermarkets, banks, bakeries, and healthcare facilities.
On 7 April, the Ministry of Health announced 55 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total active cases to 349. The Ministry also revealed a total of 50,127 individuals had been tested for the virus. On the same day, the Ministry also announced the 5th death due to COVID-19; a 70 year old Bahraini man with chronic diseases.The Bahraini Ministry of Foreign Affairs have announced that the country had repatriated 1,200 Bahrainis worldwide since the start of the pandemic in January.The government announced a continuation of restrictions on public gatherings but permitted the opening of commercial enterprises from April 9 to April 23, provided that they follow hygiene guidelines.
The government also announced that wearing face masks is mandatory while in public.On 8 April, the government announced that it would spend US$570 million to pay for the salaries of all Bahraini employees (an estimated 100,000) working in the private sector from April to June 2020. By the end of April and as Ramadan began, the country announced that total active cases had reached 1,493 out of a total of 2,811 confirmed cases since the outbreak began, in addition to 121,706 tests being conducted in total. At the start of June 2020, the country reported a total number of 11,804 infected cases of COVID-19 with 19 deaths to date.
On 8 June, Bahrain reported the highest number of COVID-19 positive cases recorded in a single day with 654 cases.The following day, it was revealed through contact tracing that one COVID-19 positive patient had directly and indirectly infected 91 people with the virus.The Indian embassy in Bahrain reported that up to 25,000 Indian nationals in the country were to be evacuated as part of India’s international repatriation efforts. Over 8,000 Indians have already left the country since the start of the outbreak.