March 20, 2020, Friday
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without the Strategy is the noise before defeat.”Sun Tzu
In these pandemic times, strategic precautionary measures are vital in contributing to the fight against the spread of the virus. Every decision has its consequences and results. With that, every government is careful in imposing its guidelines. In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health has discovered 11 new COVID-19 cases with four recoveries. It brings to a total of 159 cases with 22 recoveries.
Within the new cases, 10 of them have travel history to the United Kingdom, and 1 Kuwait citizen has a travel history to Switzerland. Currently, there are 137 active cases in the country. Compared to yesterday, the new number of cases has increased.
Renewal of Instructions and Health Guidelines
The authorities announced that the Council of Ministers had renewed the following instructions and health guidelines to the country’s citizens and residents. The Ministry of Health, Ministry of the Interior, and the concerned authorities must ensure that the penalties are executed with legal procedures in the provisions of the law with health precautions to prevent communicable diseases.
The Council of Ministers has decided to extend the suspension of private and public schools and universities in all levels to August 4, 2020. It is according to their meeting last February 26, 2020. The remaining period of the school year will be completed in August. The month of October will serve as complementary, while the new school year will start in December. They intended the day of August 4, 2020, for secondary schools only. The work of employees in other stages will resume on September 29, 2020, while the working hours of first to eleventh-grade students will start on October 4, 2020.
The authorities assigned the Ministry of Defense with the Ministry of Health’s coordination to equip the exhibition grounds as a field hospital as quickly as possible. They have also instructed the Ministry of Trade and Industry to coordinate Industry and Civil Aviation Authority to continue the air cargo flights to regulate supplies and essential commodities. Lastly, the decision for a curfew is a proposed option. If the health authorities consider it to apply in the community, they will impose curfew in the country. However, they are currently studying all aspects associated with it.
Free Internet Usage During Quarantine
Government Spokesman Tareq Al-Mezrem has announced that the three mobile companies in Kuwait will offer free five-gigabyte daily usage for the whole month. The three mobile operators have agreed with the Communication and Information Technology Regulatory Authority (CITRA) in providing free-of-charge services for the next Sunday of March 22, 2020. They will also offer free calls among these networks.
As we stay within the comfort of our homes, our connectivity to the internet is crucial to stay updated about the latest news and information. With this free internet usage, it will help the citizens and residents save their expenses for the Internet connection. Instead, it will be utilized for their daily essentials and foodstuffs.
The COVID-19 Situation in the Country
As medical examinations for citizens and expatriates continue in the recent days at Kuwait International Fairgrounds, the recent global statistics has ranked the country in the first place for the tests performed per millions of people.
I am very glad about this worldwide record. It shows the hard works of our medical frontliners in conducting COVID-19 tests to the local individuals and the arriving passengers. The Ministry of Health also announced the completion of using the Fairgrounds site in Musharraf. They advised all travelers to review preventive health centers by area of residence. It is to complete further the preventive health procedures implemented by the ministry.
In response to the recent donation of the country to the World Health Organization, the WHO’s Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus commended the State of Kuwait for its USD 40 million contributions. At a news conference in Geneva, Dr. Ghebreyesus said that the country’s great support would further boost WHO’s battle against the pandemic of COVID-19.
I am thankful that the Ministry of Health in Kuwait has successfully received medical supplies and equipment to boost the country’s supply in curbing the spread of COVID-19 disease. The Ministry’s Assistant Undersecretary for Medical Supplies Abdullah Al-Bader has reassured the public that the ministry is keen on providing medical supplies and equipment in coping with the situation. He further added that the Ministry of Health has a long-term plan in confronting the COVID-19 virus.
Today marks the 9th day of the implemented quarantine. The nation of Kuwait gave their best in conducting COVID-19 tests of its citizens and residents. The identification of coronavirus patients is the primary step in reducing its local transmission. The hard works of the Kuwait government in controlling the outbreak is commendable. Because of this great feat, my hopes are heightened that we can soon eliminate its transmission.
Health Reminders of the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait
The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait has shared these health reminders published by the World Health Organization about the COVID-19 disease. It is to ensure the circulation of verified information in the community after 23 social media accounts have been reported to the Public Prosecution of Kuwait for the sharing of false information. It is to prevent any cause of panic to the public. Proper preventive precautions must be applied to ensure everyone’s safety.
Philippines’ Confidence in the Implemented Enhanced Community Quarantine
In the Philippines, the Department of Health has reported 13 new COVID-19 cases with one additional death and no new recoveries. It brings to a total of 230 cases, with 18 deaths and eight recoveries. The additional death is by the 65-year old Filipino male in Quezon City with a travel history from Singapore. Compared to yesterday, the new number of cases has decreased.
President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his confidence in the government’s implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon. He affirmed that it would effectively kill the COVID-19 disease. Like the other countries, enhanced community quarantine or total lockdown has been enforced to stop the spread of the virus.
He further reassures the public that they can still enjoy their freedom since there will be one household member allowed to go outside to buy their basic commodities. The president emphasized that the country is not alone in imposing this implementation. However, he wants the country to lead the way that the implementation of the lockdown is strict enough to effectively stop COVID-19, liberal enough where people will not die of hunger, and orderly enough in which the whole nation won’t be driven towards chaos in these dark times.
Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go appealed to the lawmakers of the government about the release of the compensation of job order (JO) and contract of service (COS) workers for the people of Luzon. He emphasized the struggle of the job order and contractual workers amid this total lockdown. It is to address the possibility that the JOs and COS will be forced to find another means of living if deprived of the compensation. All of these are for the welfare of the citizens during their fights against the COVID-19 disease.
The Philippine government believes in the implementation of total lockdown in curbing the spread of COVID-19. As we put our faith in these strategic measures at hand, let us encourage each other to help other people struggling in this health crisis. It is because the implemented total lockdown has different effects for each one of us. Some of our workers will struggle with the “No Work, No Pay” situation in the country. Therefore, let us hope in their eyes as we offer generosity and kindness in this pandemic.
“Ibigin mo ang Panginoon mong Diyos nang buong puso mo, nang buong kaluluwa mo at nang buong pagiisip mo. Ito ang una at dakilang utos.”Mateo 22:37-38
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