Under the leadership of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, the Kingdom of Bahrain has taken proactive steps to confront the spread of the new Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Under the leadership of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Team Bahrain has adopted an extraordinary approach in managing this health crisis and dealing with its adverse effects.

  • kenburns6

This approach has resulted in successfully mitigating the negative effects of the pandemic on health, economy and society. The kingdom of Bahrain's approach, which commanded respect from its counterparts, was eminent in dealing with the health crisis and minimizing its adverse effects.
Such pioneering leadership and prominent initiatives have been widely appreciated and praised at local and international levels. The most distinguished initiative was the allocation of an $11.4 billion financial and economic package to support citizens and the private sector. This package aimed at supporting the salaries of Bahrainis in the private sector until December 2020, launching national campaigns by state institutions to provide immediate social assistance to citizens and residents, and providing free medical services and Coronavirus vaccines and examinations to citizens and residents.

The Capital Governorate's Efforts in Combating the Spread of the Coronavirus:
The Capital Governorate had anticipated in providing the necessary support to join the efforts made by Team Bahrain, which is led by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister. These efforts are made to address the effects of Coronavirus pandemic and to take a series of initiatives to mitigate and limit the virus spread. The Capital Governorate efforts played an effective role in supporting the kingdom in addressing the potential adverse effects of the pandemic.

The initiatives adopted by the Capital Governorate fall within its strategic objectives and planning in prioritizing citizens and residents and improving their well-being and their living environment. This also stem from the strong belief of the Capital Governorate in the role of individuals in the nation’s wealth and economic strength. The governorate's initiatives and projects aim at improving infrastructure, consolidating community partnership, preserving and improving health and environment, and promoting economic, urban and social conservation.

This report reviews the initiatives, projects and programs taken by the Capital Governorate to combat the pandemic.  There has been a remarkable interaction between various government entities, NGOs and volunteers, highlighting the values of solidarity, cooperation, volunteering to do good, and an elevated sense of social responsibility among various groups of society. For the Capital Governorate, this health crisis showed how its employees are dedicated to do good and to help people in various fields, thus reflecting the honorable image of the people of the Kingdom of Bahrain who are known for their unity and loyalty in different circumstances.

First: Providing Food Subsidies to Citizens and Residents
The Capital Governorate launched the "Together We Care" campaign aiming at aiding those in need by providing meals and food baskets. Since the spread of the pandemic in the Kingdom of Bahrain, His Excellency Sheikh Hisham bin Abdulrahman Al-Khalifa, Governor of the Capital Governorate, directed this campaign to support and deliver aid to Bahraini families that are in need as well as to expatriate workers in order to overcome these exceptional situations with the least possible losses.

The Capital Governorate took the initiative to distribute meals and food baskets to the capital's residents and expatriate workers, thus being the first governorate to undertake such initiative. On the first of April 2020, the governorate embarked on distributing food supplies in cooperation with the Capital Governorate Police Directorate's community police, and where 7782 food baskets were distributed to the people of the governorate. This initiative of cooperation became an inspiring model that reflects the principles of effective community partnership. The initiative has also been generalized and applied to the remaining governorates.

Under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, HM the King’s Representative for Humanitarian Work and Youth Affairs, National Security Advisor, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Chairman of the Royal Humanitarian Foundation, a campaign named “Fina Khair” was launched as a humanitarian aid in response to the health crisis. The Capital Governorate cooperated with the Capital Governorate Police Directorate to intensify its efforts to carry out the distribution of breakfast meals and food packages in the month of Ramadan with the help of volunteering teams, NGOs, clubs and unions within the capital. The total number of Iftar meals distributed during the campaign reached 556,840 meals.

As a continuation of its humanitarian efforts, and after the month of Ramadan, the Capital Governorate continued distributing food baskets as part of the "Your Food in Your Home" campaign. A total of 13,871 food baskets were distributed to many Bahraini families either in need or directly affected by the Coronavirus pamdemic.

Second: Reducing the Density of Labor in Buildings in Central Manama
Based on the Coordination Committee's decree headed by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, and in implementation of the directives of the His Excellency Lt- General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, the Minister of Interior, the Capital Governorate formed three teams with the mission of reducing the density of foreign workers in Central Manama as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus and to put the right measures for health, security and safety. Two teams were responsible of regularly inspectiing buildings located in the city of Manama, while the third team followed up complaints placed by residents with regard to buildings’ overpopulation. The teams coordinated with the following entities: The Capital Municipality, the Ministry of Health, the Electricity and Water Authority, and the Capital Governorate Police Directorate.

In light of the large concentrations of foreign workers in the Capital Governorate, especially in the city of Manama where their numbers are about 69,000 distributed in five residential complexes, the teams formed under the leadership of the Capital Governorate began to carry out immediate site visits to inspect the buildings located in Central Manama and worked to promptly amend their condition. The most prominent violations observed were the accumulation of large numbers of workers in small rooms with hazardous electrical connections and a lack of minimum standards for health, security and safety. During their site visits, the teams noticed overcrowding in a number of apartments despite the presence of other vacant apartments in the building. They have been flagged as violating buildings. Therefore, the teams coordinated with the concerned land lords to distribute workers among those apartments in order to reduce the existing inhabitant density.
The Capital Governorate also contacted the major companies whose workers reside in Central Manama to find alternative housing for them in other areas to reduce the inhabitant density in the buildings.
This campaign was the largest in the country. The joint team efforts resulted in reducing the inhabitant densities of the violating buildings by reducing the number of workers from 20,000 to 14,888 (about 74%, as per the date of preparing this report), which is well above the targeted goal set by the Capital Governorate.
The teams continue to conduct site visits on a daily basis up until the violating buildings abide by the requirements. This will ensure not repeating previous violations, thus contributing to reducing the spread of infection among the residents of the shared accommodations.

Third: Establishing Accommodation Centers
In implementation of the directives of H.E. Lt- General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al-Khalifa, the Minister of Interior, with regard to reducing the density of expatriate workers in their residences as a precautionary measure within the national efforts to limit the spread of the Coronavirus, the Capital Governorate established new temporary accommodation centers for expatriate workers. The governorate inaugurated two new centers, the first in Adhari Park and the second in the Abu Ghazal area.

This important Capital Governorate’s plan to reduce the density of expatriate workers in their residences guarantees that the accommodation process goes according to strict precautionary measures and ensures that all means of comfort, including equipment, are provided during workers’ stay at the temporary center, and that preventive health measures are in place to ensure their safety. The costs of establishing the temporary accommodations were financed by private sector companies and sponsors.

The Capital Governorate, in cooperation with the private sector institutions, companies and merchants, was able to provide accommodation for a total capacity of 2,089 people in various regions of the governorate, namely, the old Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry building, the Jamal Shwaiter Sweets building in Gufool, the Rozana Hotel, Altajdeed cultural and social society, and the building of Mr. Saeed Al-Nooh.

Fourth: Sanitizing Vital Locations, Streets and Roads
The Capital Governorate launched a campaign to sanitize vital sites and streets in various regions in cooperation with the Capital Governorate Police Directorate, the General Directorate of Civil Defense, a number of supportive entities, and with the active participation of 50 volunteers trained by the Civil Defense. This joint effort was prominent in successfully completing sanitizing the Manama Souq area, specifically Bab Al-Bahrain, Al-Naim, Umm Al-Hassam, Al-Zinj, Al-Qudaybiya, Al-Juffair and Block 338.

Fifth: Requirements for Fighting the Pandemic
The Capital Governorate was keen to distribute face masks and hand sanitizers to the people due to the increasing number of Coronavirus cases. The governorate cooperated with non-government associations and civil institutions to distribute pandemic-fighting supplies to needy citizens and residents.

Sixth: Applying Precautionary Measures at Religious Occasions
The Capital Governorate formed a committee to follow up on precautionary measures and their application during the religious occasions. The committee presented awareness sessions to a number of Mattams and Hussainiyas officials, in the governorate and urged them to adhere to the health and precautionary measures to ensure no violations would occur.
On the other hand, the governorate has coordinated the publication of press interviews for a group of influential senior religious scholars to deliver a message to the people about the importance of following precautionary measures and the prohibition of harming oneself and others.

Seventh: Inspecting Salons and Hairdressers and Distributing Awareness Leaflets
The Capital Governorate, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, the General Directorate of Civil Defense and a group of volunteers, organized a campaign in June 2020 to inspect men and women salons and hairdressers around the capital in order to ensure the implementation of the health and safety precautionary measures. This was part of the efforts to limit the spread of Coronavirus. The number of salons inspected reached 400, in addition, awareness and health instructions leaflets were distributed in several languages to clients and passers-by during the campaign.

The number of volunteers participating in the campaign reached 121 from both genders. They also took part of a training session organized by the Capital Governorate in cooperation with the Ministry of Health to prepare them to conduct inspection campaigns to assess the health situation in men's and women's salons, hairdressers and beauty shops and to ensure that health requirements and procedures are not violated.

Eighth: Activating Community Partnerships with the Private Sector and NGOs
A. The Private Sector:
The Capital Governorate has contacted its strategic partners, private sector companies and citizens, in order to provide the necessary financial support to confront this pandemic. The total amount collected to support the governorate's efforts to combat the pandemic amounted to 312 000 Dinars. This amount was directed to alleviate the adverse effects of the pandemic on citizens and residents. Camps and headquarters have been prepared to accommodate foreign workers, meals, food baskets, and computers were distributed to families in need, main roads and streets were sanitized, as well as other costs were covered to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on people.

B. Non-Government Organization
Non-government organizations and associations had a prominent role in supporting the initiatives launched by the Capital Governorate since the early days of the pandemic. Many volunteers from these organizations helped the governorate's front-liners and teams in distributing meals and food baskets, sanitizing roads and streets, and assisting in awareness campaigns for communities and foreign workers by translating and distributing publications.

C. Embassies
The Capital Governorate has cooperated with a number of embassies in the Kingdom in order to help deliver basic food needs to their communities that were affected by the pandemic in losing their jobs. These embassies were as follows: Palestine, Indonesia, India, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Pakistan, and Thailand.

Ninth: Providing Psychological Support to the Community
His Excellency the Governor launched the "Because You Are Important" campaign for psychological support during the Coronavirus pandemic. An online ceremony was held in cooperation with a group of specialists in the fields of psychology, emotional, social care and life skills, and with a group of companies and supporting institutions. The campaign’s objectives were to take care of the psychological well-being of citizens and residents, and to enhance their resilience during crises such as the current pandemic. The campaign focused on the major psychological repercussions the pandemic has on societies around the world and the efforts needed to build the necessary awareness and prepare for the post-pandemic future.

Last Update Jun 27, 2021