Both Dr. Jameela Al-Salman and Dr. Manaf Al-Qahtani stressed on the need to assume the “common national responsibility” in combating the spread of coronavirus in Bahrain, at a critical time after the Ministry of Health announced on Wednesday, February 26, 2020, that the number of people infected by the virus reached 26.

At a press conference launched by Dr. Al-Salman and Dr. Al-Qahtani – senior members of the national team for confronting coronavirus – on Tuesday, February 25, 2020, both ensured that the medical authorities in the country have worked on developing precautionary measures that can be taken for combating coronavirus in Bahrain and limiting its spread, in cooperation with the relevant authorities in implementing precautionary measures, including the suspension of schools and educational institutions in the country. At the press conference, emphasis was made on the fact that such procedures “require expansive cooperation by society while being implemented, based on the principle of the “common national responsibility”.

In an indirect criticism of the “sectarian” manner in which the course of the coronavirus spread has been dealt with in Bahrain, Dr. Manaf Al-Qahtani called for learning from what he described as the “great lesson” provided by China in dealing with this health disaster epidemic, clarifying that “viruses and diseases are not related to a particular ethnicity or sect”. At the press conference, Al-Qahtani added that “the virus has spread, and anyone can be infected”, requesting all to refrain from “associating or naming a particular race or party or sect with a virus”.

A number of Bahraini activists and writers criticized voices and messages that sought to “politicize” and “sectarianize” the issue of coronavirus in Bahrain, by emphasizing that the citizens infected had come back from religious pilgrimage in Iran.

Bahrain Interfaith issued a statement on February 24, in which it called for “assuming the common and comprehensive national responsibility in combatting the challenges of coronavirus”, and urged all parties to refrain from “politicization”, hate messages, and expressing contempt for those afflicted with the disease, or those coming from the countries suffering from the epidemic.