Coronavirus: Bahrain postpones Friday prayers as cases increase

Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia records highest number of daily infections as cases exceed 91,000

Bahraini health sector experts set up patient monitoring equipment at the Sitra field Intensive Care Unit (ICU) hospital for COVID-19 patients, on May 4, 2020 in Sitra island south of the Bahraini capital Manama. - The hospital, which is attached to a quarantine camp and spread-out over an area of 2400 square meters, is the first field Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to be setup far from a hospital and has its own lab, pharmacy, medical supply store, X-ray machines, and mobile dialysis units. It is run by 55 doctors and 250 nurses. It is the second field hospital out of five planned to add 500 ICU beds to Bahrain's health network. (Photo by Mazen Mahdi / AFP)
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Bahrain said it will postpone the resumption of Friday prayers this week following a spike in coronavirus cases on Wednesday.

“The increase in cases is due to the failure of citizens to abide by precautionary measures as well as public gatherings during the holy month of Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr,” a government official said.

The country recorded 263 new cases of the virus, taking the total number to 12,574, with 20 fatalities since the outbreak began.

Bahraini authorities chose not to enforce an economic lockdown during the holiday period, but imposed restrictions on public gatherings and closed mosques in March.

The government said it will monitor the spread of the virus before announcing a new date to allow congregational prayers to resume in mosques and religious areas.

Other countries in the Gulf also recorded a mounting number of infections.

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday said it recorded 2,171 new cases of the novel coronavirus, marking the highest number of daily infections since the outbreak began earlier this year.

A total of 30 fatalities were recorded in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll to 579, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia has recorded 91,182 cases of the disease to date, with 2,369 recoveries during the last day, out of a total 68,159. There are currently 1,321 critical cases in the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia has taken extensive measures to contain the pandemic but has recently lifted restrictions as it eases back into public life.

On Wednesday, Kuwait reported 710 new cases, taking the total number of infections in the country to 29,359.

Four deaths were reported during the last 24 hours, bringing the number of coronavirus fatalities to 230.

Authorities said 2,934 tests have been carried out over the past day, bringing the total number of tests to 303,285.

The recovery rate in Kuwait stands at 53.6 per cent, according to the health ministry, with 15,750 recoveries recorded since the start of the outbreak.

Oman, which has the lowest number of cases in the Gulf, reported 738 new infections on Wednesday, raising the country’s toll to 13,538.

The cases include 324 Omanis and 414 foreign residents, according to the country's Health Ministry, which reported eight new fatalities, taking the country’s total number of deaths to 67.

Although restrictions were eased late last month, Omani officials have urged the public to follow health regulations to reduce the spread of the virus.