World News

Bahrain says some detainees contracted COVID-19

DUBAI (Reuters) - Bahrain’s interior ministry said on Monday that a number of female detainees, who are being held because of visa violations, had contracted COVID-19.

Bahraini authorities have not previously reported coronavirus infections among detainees.

“The necessary medical measures have been taken to treat those infected, and precautionary measures at the site have been strengthened,” the ministry said on Twitter, without mentioning which facility.

The small Gulf state has for years come under pressure from rights organisations over prison conditions including overcrowding, poor sanitation and lack of medical care.

Like other countries, it freed some prisoners considered at risk, such as pregnant women, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The country of about 1.5 million people has recorded more than 85,700 COVID-19 cases with 338 deaths.

Writing by Lisa Barrington; Editing by Catherine Evans and Andrew Cawthorne