Cairo: An imminent reopening of the King Fahd Causeway, linking Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, should be gradual on health grounds, a Bahraini trade official has said.
The 25km-long causeway was shut down on March 7 as part of a string of measures to fight the spread of the new coronavirus. The facility is expected to reopen on July 27 as Gulf countries are easing virus-related measures to prop up economy.
Abdul Hakim Al-Shameri, a member of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce, has called for gradual reopening of the bridge.
“The King Fahd Causeway has helped enhance links between the two sisterly countries,” he told a symposium in Manama.
“The reopening should be gradual. Around 50,000 to 75,000 passengers used the bridge daily. If this number is allowed now in one go, it will certainly be difficult for the agencies concerned to ensure safety of all passengers and protect their health,” he added, according to Bahraini newspaper Akhbar Al Khaleej.
“Halting traffic on the bridge [due to the virus] led to very negative effects, but the step was taken to protect people and properties,” he added.
The bridge was inaugurated in 1986 and has since been vital for movement between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, two members of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council.