Doctors say infections and deaths are “spiral” without further restrictions
The British Medical Association says “stronger measures” are needed to prevent Covid-19 deaths and infections that are getting out of control.
In a strongly worded statement on Saturday evening, the doctors’ body said that “Covid-19 injuries will continue to escalate, and the death rate will rise, without further restrictions and social distancing measures.”
BMA President, Dr Chaand Nagpaul said:
“ Strict adherence to infection control including hand washing, use of antiseptics, social distancing outside the home, and always wearing face masks (for whoever can) when this is not possible is critical.
“The government should take every step necessary to implement this. Employees in workplaces, stores, bars and restaurants should be required to wear a face covering when within two meters of other people and at all times when serving customers.”
“The government should provide clear guidance and support as necessary for companies and employers to provide robust and safe environments for the virus.
“ It is also necessary to reduce avoidable contact between people at a time when infection is spreading without the ability to test to identify who is infected.
“This requires reconsidering the rule of six that allows members of six different families to meet at home compared to a maximum of two family members in the past, and reversing the encouragement to travel and return to work for those who are able to work remotely.
There is also a great need for better communication from the government to the local population regarding real-time local infection rates – compared to local weather information – and for this to be culturally competent.
“We also need clarity and consistency about how decisions are made about national lockdowns or other restrictions. We need to know the criteria for when different restrictions will be imposed, and local public health professionals need the independence to act in the best interests of their towns and cities.”
The Bahrain Monetary Agency calls for:
- The “rule of six” should be reconsidered, as it is currently applied internally. It is now possible for members of six families to meet inside, possibly multiple times over the course of a day. Previously, a maximum of two families could meet.
- Workplaces and offices to ensure safe Covid environments for employees, including the use of face masks or barrier screens when employees are within two meters of each other. The government should provide clear guidance and support to employers when necessary.
- Explicit guidelines that masks alone are not sufficient and should be worn with face masks, and better public education on how to wear face masks to ensure effectiveness.
- Entrances to indoor public spaces to provide inexpensive disposable surgical masks for members of the public who attend without one and impose penalties on those who do not comply.
- People over the age of 60 and those with underlying conditions are at risk of contracting serious illness from COVID to wear medical masks to protect themselves according to WHO guidelines. With the virus spreading widely, it is important to provide targeted protection to those at risk of hospitalization.
- Work from home is actively encouraged as this is logistically feasible to limit the spread of infection as a result of reduced contact between people including public transportation.
- More clarity and strict adherence to Covid-secure arrangements in bars, pubs and restaurants with strict spacing between tables and groups of people and recording customer details – backed by greater monitoring and enforcement measures.
- Unnecessary travel and socializing should be discouraged – and the “Eat Out for Help” scheme is complemented with a “take-in” approach.
- The increasing use of apps – such as those used to inform people of local weather and pollen count conditions – to inform people of local infection rates. Any known “early warning” signs will allow local residents to take proactive measures and behavioral change to stop the spread of infection and avoid local lockdowns.