Kuwait and Bahrain have rolled out some of the most invasive Covid-19 contact-tracing apps in the world, putting the privacy and security of their users at risk, Amnesty International says. The rights group found the apps were carrying out live or near-live tracking of users’ locations by uploading GPS co-ordinates to a central server.
According to Johns Hopkins University, as of May 22, 2020, Bahrain has registered 8,000 positive cases of the coronavirus, with 12 deaths. The reported numbers are suspect, especially as Bahrain’s neighbors report much higher totals of positive cases- Saudi Arabia more than 67,000, Qatar over 40,000, the UAE over 26,000, and Kuwait more than 19,000.
The novel coronavirus is advancing across the Middle East, straining frail public health services and exacerbating preexisting political and sectarian tensions, both within states and between regional rivals.
Local sources on the Yemeni island of Socotra have expressed concerns over reports that the UAE delegate Khalfan Al-Mazrouei had facilitated the theft of antiquities and ancient manuscripts. The sources told Socotra Post that an Emirati antiquities team accompanied by Al-Mazrouei visited the oldest mosque in Hadibu, the capital of Socotra known for its historic dome, in addition to other archaeological sites.