Bahrain has arrested a man for claiming on social media that COVID-19 was a lie used to fleece people of their money. Picture for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Bahrain has arrested a man for stating that COVID-19 does not exist, belittling the efforts of the government to combat the coronavirus.

Prosecutors received a tip off from the General Administration for Combating Corruption and Economic and Electronic Security that a person published false news through his account on social media on the coronavirus pandemic, stating that COVID-19 does not exist in reality and is just a lie for ripping off people’s money, Chief Prosecutor Nawaf Al Awadi said.

The man, Al Awadi added, belittled the measures taken by the Bahraini government in this regard, which discourages citizens and residents from adhering to these procedures and may eventually undermine national efforts to stem the spread of the pandemic.

The Public Prosecution began its investigations and interrogated the accused in the presence of his lawyer, and ordered his remand in custody pending trial,” Al Awadi said.

Bahrain took a series of early interventions to curb the spread of the deadly virus, which includes screenings at entry points, travel restrictions on high-risk areas, banning of large social gathering as well as swift isolation and testing of suspected cases.

The government made it mandatory to wear masks outdoors after easing some restrictions at the start of Ramadan and during the Eid Al Fitr holiday.

Failure to comply with Bahrain’s public health law, laid out to protect public health, can result in up to three-months jail term and/or a fine between $2,645 to $26,500.