DUBAI: Dozens of companies in Bahrain have responded to the government’s order to ensure labor camps were within acceptable health standards amid the coronavirus outbreak, local media Gulf Digital News reported.
Bahrani Crown Prince Salmab bin Hamad Al-Khalifa said the government was launching a campaign based on an earlier directive issued by the country’s labor ministry. 37 companies have already followed the campaign – an additional 131 employers have asked for time, according to the report.
Employers were urged to deal with the growing cases of coronavirus among migrant workers, including implementing social distancing rules in usually densely populated labor accommodation sites.
“As per the existing labor law, there should be a four-meter free space around every employee in a labor camp,” the crown prince said, adding it would be “challenging, but we should do our best.”
The health ministry in Bahrain earlier noted 90 percent of active coronavirus cases in the country were among migrant workers.
Labor and Social Development Minister Jameel Humaidan said the campaign aims to “reduce the numbers of employees in the camps.”
Employers, which cover around 2,200 registered labor camps in the country, were ordered to provide separate accommodation for infected workers.
The new labor restrictions follow a wider government contingency plan to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Thousands of migrants in Bahrain have been relocated to safe shelters this week, according to a report by Gulf Daily News, and plans were underway to move more low-income workers and ease overcrowding in labor camps.
“We have identified Blocks 300 to 325 as being densely populated areas in Manama where there is a high concentration of migrant workers,” Capital Governor Sheikh Hisham bin Abdulrahman Al-Khalifa said.