Bahrain Interfaith praises the ongoing cooperation between the government and society in Bahrain for confronting the coronavirus that has hit the country, and particularly emphasizes the national positions that had been stressed on by high-level official authorities in the country, especially regarding the role of national unity in confronting the disease, and [the importance of] refraining from any [form of] prejudice towards citizens infected with the virus or towards their sectarian backgrounds. The center highlights these fixed positions expressed by citizens, activists, and civil society organizations, which comply with the principle of the “common national responsibility” in dealing with the health crises facing Bahrain, and facing the world in general due to coronavirus.

Bahrain interfaith emphasizes on the statement it had issued on February 24 of last month, in which it highlighted the need of avoiding hate speech, contempt, and discrimination on the levels of messages, official, and non-official policies, and on working in a collaborative manner, both nationally and religiously, for confronting practices that aim at “politicizing” this health issue and tackling attempts to provoke sectarian and social tensions among citizens.

On the other hand, the government of Bahrain, the citizens, and civil society organizations should assume other responsibilities to guarantee the confrontation of coronavirus, which are perhaps in compliance with international obligations towards human rights in this regard, these include:

1- The right of knowing the necessary measures that need to be taken to prevent from the disease, including the number of cases discovered and the locations of its spread around the country.
2- The right of providing early diagnosis on a large scale, treatment for the disease in case of infliction, and providing the necessary equipment, detection devices, preventive medicine, and medical treatment required, provided that they all be free of charge.
3- The right of preventing harm that may result in some cases as a result of the spread of the disease, on the level of work, transportation, housing, nutrition, and other.
4- Taking precautionary measures with all returnees from countries where the disease has spread, such as China, South Korea, Iran, and Italy, with assurance on the importance of the returnee’s cooperation with the specialized agencies in compliance with religious and national principles.

Bahrain Interfaith 
Kingdom of Bahrain – March 1, 2020