Cairo: Bahrain has recently terminated the contracts of a large number of foreign employees in the public sector and plans more in the next six months, Bahraini newspaper Al Watan reported Friday, citing parliamentary sources.
Foreigners account for more than half of Bahrain's 1.7 million population.
"There is plan to replace foreigners with Bahrainis in the government jobs in the period ahead," added the sources speaking on condition of anonymity. The replacement is part of efforts to protect the Bahrainis from economic impact of the novel coronavirus.
In March, the government unveiled a $11 billion stimulus package to aid the private sector in grappling with the fallout from the COVID-19.
The government is studying the possibility of continuing its support for Bahraini citizens in terms of fees for water, electricity and municipal services and assistance to the private sector in paying its Bahraini employees' salaries, according to the same sources.
About 11,000 businesses and over 90,000 private sector employees in Bahrain have benefited from the government's economic package covering April, May and June, they said.
The Bahraini government plans to launch programmes to support sectors hard hit by economic repercussions of COVID-19, mainly hospitality tourism and restaurants, the sources added.
A government-parliamentary meeting was held on Thursday to examine economic effects of COVID-19 in Bahrain.
Figures provided by the government showed that exports have dropped to 55 per cent; passenger traffic at the Bahrain International Airport has declined by 98 per cent and occupancy rates at hotels by 72 per cent over the period from January to April, according to the paper.