A 32-year-old Bahraini (name withheld) living with sickle cell anaemia is currently under care in a special hospital unit in Manama.
He developed high fever and breathing problems and was instantly taken to hospital with the assumption that it was incipient sickle cell crises. He later tested positive for coronavirus after a doctor took a chance suggesting he be so tested.
‘He was immediately taken into isolation and transferred to the COVID-19 Building in Manama for further treatment’ says Zakareya Alkadem, President of Bahrain Sickle Cell Association.
Roughly 9000 people live with SCD in the Middle East island nation with one of the highest lifespans for citizens with SCD in the world. The sickling rate is much higher making the authorities at one time to consider proscribing sickle cell carrier marriages. The idea was later abandoned in favour of accentuated genotype awareness and co-opting family members to re-emphasize SCD issues during courtship. Bahrain’s SCD Control Policy has been commended by the WHO.
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The index SCD-CORONAVIRUS case in Bahrain is reported to be in a stable condition after blood transfusion to raise his dangerously low PCV.
With a proactive Sickle Cell Association working in close contact with the country’s Ministry of Health, such incidents are hard to remain unreported.
SICKLE CELL NEWS earlier received reports of a handful of African Americans with SCD being infected with the Coronavirus.