COVID-19: The impact on the Bahrain real estate sector
As we all know by now, the coronavirus originated in the city of Wuhan in China in
January of this year. In the month since, it has spread to many countries around the
world – more significantly, cases of the virus have also been reported in the
Kingdom of Bahrain.
On March 1, the Reuters news agency, citing the Bahrain health ministry, reported
that six new cases had been confirmed in the Kingdom, taking the total of such cases
to 47. Thankfully, the Bahrain government had started taking precautionary
measures as far back as the end of January, when the news first broke of the impact
that the virus was likely to have on global health and it is largely due to these
measures that the number of cases is lower as compared to, say, South Korea or Iran
– where the number of people affected is significantly higher.
It has also been confirmed that the virus is not airborne and that it travels from
person to person. To offset the spread of the virus to the young, on February 26, the
Bahrain government ordered all schools closed for two weeks. You might also have
noticed people sporting surgical masks on their faces – this is to reduce the risk of
the infection being received from – or passed on to – other people.
What kind of impact is this likely to have on the Bahrain real estate sector?
Whenever news breaks of the potency of such viruses, fear and apprehension are
normal, natural reactions by the populace. In the real estate sector, where our agents
often have to meet multiple clients during the course of a single day, sit with them in
the same car as they travel to see residential or commercial locations, meet with
them at different apartments, villas or offices, this poses a clear and present danger
since, as mentioned before, the virus relies on human-to-human contact to spread.
But we are sure that, just as we, at ASK Real Estate have, other realtors have also
instructed their agents and other staff to take all the necessary precautions. One of
those is the time-honoured practice of washing hands as frequently as possible,
especially after shaking hands with someone. Hand-sanitizers are, if you’ll pardon
the pun, very handy too – one can just whip them out of one’s pockets and
administer the lotion as soon as one needs.
But there’s not much that can be done about breathing the same air as the person
you’re with in a closed space, such as a car or an office/apartment/villa. And you
is in a public place.
So, in the unlikely event of any of our agents or staff showing signs of fever or a
cough that may be the result of the virus taking hold, we have instructed them – as,
we are sure, our peers across the real estate sector have their staff – to take such
symptoms seriously and go to any of the government-mandated hospitals to have
themselves tested as soon as possible.
Since a vaccine is still some months – possibly a year – away from being developed,
there is no telling how long the virus will remain a threat to the health and
well-being of people not just in Bahrain, but around the world. Therefore, we stress
that everyone who reads this should remain wary and careful as they go about their
Until next week, when we shall present a new topic, goodbye and please take good
care of yourselves.