Doctors and nurses do their final check on the equipment in a makeshift ICU "Field Intensive Care Unit 1" set up by Bahrian authorities to treat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) critical patients, at a car-park of Bahrain Defence Force Hospital in Riffa, Bahrain, April 14, 2020. Image Credit: Reuters

Cairo: Bahrain’s health regulator has allowed private hospitals to conduct optional coronavirus tests, an official has said.

The National Health Regulatory Authority has issued permits to a number of private hospitals in the kingdom to carry out optional tests related to COVID-19 on non-infected persons or those who do not suffer from symptoms upon their request, the agency’s CEO Dr Mariam Azabi added.

“This optional service is offered for people to which conditions of testing at public laboratories do not apply,” she said.

She explained that health services including testing, quarantine and treatment continue to be offered for free at Bahrain’s state health care institutions to citizens and resident expatriates. The private hospitals are licensed to do the COVID-19 test in return for a certain fee and will send the samples to the public health labs for results, according to the official.

“All services, including optional testing, provided by health care facilities will comply with the guidelines and standards accredited by the World Health Organisation and the National Medical Team,” Dr Mariam said.

The services are part of Bahraini authorities’ efforts to limit the spread of the cornonavirus.