Journal of the Bahrain Medical Society

Year 2021, Volume 33, Issue 2, Pages 1-6

Original Article

SARS-Cov-2 Viral Load as an Indicator for COVID-19 Patients' Hospital Stay

Salman Al Ali1,3, Abdul Karim Abdul Rahman2,3, Omar Yaghi3, Essam M. Janahi4Manaf Al-Qahtani1, 3, 5, 6*

Author Affiliation

1Internal Medicine, Bahrain Defense Force Hospital, Bahrain.

2Mohammed bin Khalifa Cardiac Centre, Bahrain.

3National Taskforce to Combat the coronavirus (COVID-19), Bahrain.

4Independent Researcher, Building 1848, Road 7542, Al Janabiyah 0575, Northern Governorate, Bahrain.

5Consultant Infectious disease and Clinical Microbiologist, Bahrain Defense Force Hospital, Bahrain.

6Associate Professor in Microbiology at Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Bahrain.

*Corresponding author: Dr. Manaf M. Al-Qahtani, Consultant Infectious disease, and clinical microbiologist, Bahrain Defense Force Hospital, Bahrain; Email:

Received date: January 13, 2021; Accepted date: March 4, 2021; Published date: June 30, 2021


Background/objective: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has posed a global threat to public health. An objective strategy is quintessential to handle resources prudently. This study assessed the utility of the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) cycle of threshold (Ct) to evaluate the severity of the COVID-19 infection. The study also assessed the duration of the hospital and the management of healthcare resources.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out among 306 patients admitted to COVID-19 care centers in the Kingdom of Bahrain from 20th March 2020 to 5th April 2020. Standard qPCR was used to estimate the viral load, and data was analyzed to investigate the relationship between Ct values and various variables.

Results: Out of 306 patients, two fatalities, one active stable case, and 303 recovered cases were reported. Ct value was negatively associated (P value <0.001) with the length of hospital stay. Viral clearance was also inversely associated with the Ct values.

Conclusion: Ct value was inversely associated with the duration of hospital stay (and time to viral clearance); the higher Ct value was indicative of a faster time to viral clearance. This association could aid in the management of both the infection and resources.

Keywords: Bahrain; COVID-19; Length of Stay; Public Health; Resource Allocation; Viral Load

*Kindly refer to PDF for tables/images for this article