Gulf region on alert as Bahrain reports first death from coronavirus

So far the world over, the coronavirus has killed more than 6,500 people

Bahrain reported the first death from coronavirus in the country on Monday. According to the ministry of health, the dead patient was a 65-year-old Bahraini woman with underlying health conditions. As of Monday, nearly 200 people are infected with the novel coronavirus in the tiny Gulf state.

With Bahrain reporting its first death from Covid-19, the Gulf region has seen the first fatality from the global pandemic. In a move to curb the spread of the virus, Bahrain has already asked all people arriving from four countries to remain in self-quarantine. "All those who have come from Italy, South Korea, Egypt and Lebanon during the past two weeks have to stay in their residences inside separate rooms for 14 days as part of domestic isolation," the Health Ministry said in a statement.

Coronavirus status as of 15 March, 2020
Coronavirus status as of 15 March, 2020 GISAID

Covid-19 kills more than 6,500 people

Meanwhile, in neighbouring Iran, a prominent cleric close to the power centres died of coronavirus infection on Monday. Grand Ayatollah Hashem Bathaei-Golpaygani died at a hospital in the holy city of Qom. He belonged to Iran's 'Assembly of Experts', a clerical body, with the authority to supervise, appoint and even sack the Supreme Leader.

So far the world over, the coronavirus has killed more than 6,500 people. Even as China is limping back to normalcy with far fewer deaths and cases reported than earlier, the situation in countries like Italy, Spain, the Us and Iran continues critical. Italy reported nearly 4,000 new cases on Sunday, while as many as 368 people died in the span of 24 hours.

Global markets see bloodbath

A migrant worker was forced to dress up like a human sanitizer at a Saudi oil firm
A migrant worker was forced to dress up like a human sanitizer at a Saudi oil firm in the wake of coronavirus outbreak Muhammad al-Qadi/Twitter

The US Fed's rate cut spooked global markets on Monday as investors sensed a new level of the crisis unfolding. Investors dumped equities, leading to a 10 percent fall in Australia's benchmark index. London's FTSE 100 fell 7 percent in early trade on Monday and France's CAC 40 and Germany's DAX dropped nearly 9 percent each. In India, the bloodbath continued on Monday, with the benchmark Sensex index plunging 2,713 points or 8 percent.

China's factory output tumbled at the sharpest pace in 30 years, as the coronavirus outbreak shut down factories across the nation. The industrial production dropped by a whopping 13.5 percent in January-February compared with the same period last year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Monday, the weakest reading since January 1990.

Global commodities markets continued to track lower, with US crude falling below $30, spooked by continued weakness in economic activity across the world.

Crisis worsening in the broader Gulf region

Bahraini flag

In the broader Gulf region, Saudi Arabia said on Sunday it had 15 new coronavirus cases, taking the country's total to 118. In the United Arab Emirates, Dubai shut its bars, pubs and lounges for the rest of the month to limit the spread of the virus. In Qatar, the Ministry of Public Health said there are 64 new confirmed cases, taking the total number of the infected to 401. Kuwait also reported that 11 more people were tested positive for coronavirus, taking the tally to 123.

Related topics : Coronavirus