DODEA’s Bahrain School closes over coronavirus concerns
By JOSHUA KARSTEN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 25, 2020
MANAMA, Bahrain — Military children at the Bahrain School have been told to stay home the rest of the week, following the country’s first confirmed coronavirus case and several others reported at the island kingdom’s airport.
School officials said the move, announced Tuesday evening via text message and emails, was a precautionary measure.
“We are working closely with our military and host nation partners to closely monitor the situation,” the statement said. “All decisions will be made with the health of our staff, students and community in mind.”
Bahrain is home to the Navy’s 5th Fleet headquarters and has the largest concentration of deployed servicemembers and their families in the Middle East.
Bahrain’s Health Ministry said that all public schools will be closed for the next two weeks as “precautionary measures taken to contain the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) among individuals who have visited Iran, before the country announced it was facing a COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement said.
Bahrain officials said 17 travelers have tested positive for the virus at Bahrain International Airport, with the travelers coming from Saudi Arabia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates.
The travelers were quarantined immediately and were taken to health care centers for treatment. Those accompanying infected travelers also were quarantined, the official Bahrain News Agency reported Tuesday.
Base school officials said more guidance will be released as it becomes available. Naval Forces Central Command said Monday that service members are already subject to 14-day “in-house” quarantines and testing when coming to Bahrain from mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and South Korea. Personal leave to those countries also is restricted.