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RCSI Bahrain Holds Open Lecture on Coronavirus Cause and Prevention

  • Bahrain

BDF Senior Infectious Diseases Consultant, Professor Manaf Alqahtani, speaks on ‘The Novel 2019-nCoV Coronavirus’

In February, RCSI Bahrain hosted an open lecture to educate students, staff, and alumni on preventative measures for COVID-19, discussing compliance with the WHO and Ministry of Health recommendations for controlling the spread of the virus, as well as its origins and nuances. Professor Manaf Alqahtani, Adult Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiologist Consultant and Head of the Infection Control Unit at the Royal Medical Services of the Bahrain Defence Force (BDF), and Clinical Associate Professor, Lead in Microbiology at RCSI Bahrain, addressed attendees from the RCSI Bahrain campus on the topic ‘The Novel 2019-nCoV Coronavirus – When and how it will end?’

Professor Alqahtani’s address covered the drivers behind the threat from infectious diseases like COVID-19, including population pressures, globalisation and food processing and distribution, and presented an interesting world map of the origins of infectious and re-infectious diseases. He also gave a detailed analysis of COVID-19 and its clinical and epidemiological risk factors, which are used by medical professionals in assessing and treating the disease. A large portion of the lecture addressed Bahrain’s plan to tackle the COVID-19 threat, which incorporates significant resources such as a multi-disciplinary taskforce, an algorithm for treatment and dedicated testing and quarantine facilities.

During the lecture, Professor Alqahtani commented: “The good news is that Bahrain is extremely well prepared to tackle this virus, and the health of the wider population should not be affected. I would encourage people not to panic, but to be vigilant and follow our official advice to stop the spread of COVID-19, in particular, to call 444 and self-isolate for the greater good, if symptoms are suspected. We know what to expect and what we need from our hospitals and medical staff should the disease escalate, and we have even considered the social and psychological affect that a period of quarantine may have on an individual, and will be taking efforts to mitigate these. Although this is a new strain of coronavirus, for most individuals it will be a similar illness to seasonal influenza, and healthy people should make a full recovery.”

RCSI Bahrain’s President, Professor Sameer Otoom, commented: “RCSI Bahrain is built on the principle of patient care being paramount, and this is embedded into our teaching and curriculum. In this vein, we see it as our duty to properly inform our students, alumni and staff about the Coronavirus COVID-19, and there was no better person to do this than Professor Manaf, whose credentials in Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease are second to none. I thank Professor Manaf for his time and highly commend the BDF and Ministry of Health on their rigorous clinical pathway to addressing the spread of COVID-19 in the Kingdom.”