March 22, 2020, Sunday
“Our goals can only be reached through the vehicle of a plan. There is no other route to success.”Pablo Picasso
Even with the strict quarantine measures imposed on several countries around the world, the spread of COVID-19 continues. The authorities will execute more strategic decisions to curb its spread. In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health has reported 12 new COVID-19 cases with three recoveries. It brings to a total of 118 cases with 30 recovered cases.
Within the new cases, 4 of them have contact with a case traveling to the United Kingdom, one citizen who has contact with a case traveling to Egypt and 1 Kuwait citizen with travel history to Brazil.
First Day of the Implemented Curfew
Due to the remaining increasing rate of the COVID-19 cases, the Kuwait government decided to push its quarantine measures further for the safety of the public. It officially imposed a partial curfew to the country this March 22, 2020. It is to address the issue of the non-compliance of the Ministry of Health’s guidelines to remain indoors as the ministry aims to prevent the further spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Anas Al-Saleh have addressed in a news conference that the 11-hour curfew would start this Sunday at 5:00 pm until 4:00 am in the dawn of the next day.
For the employees who are working in vital sectors, the Civil Defense Committee with issue their IDs. The authorities warn the public to comply with the imposed guidelines to avoid any legal punishment during the curfew. They will extend the holiday period of government departments and private companies for two weeks instead of the announced date, which is March 26, 2020.
I will commend the decision of the authorities of Kuwait in implementing the curfew. Many people are still roaming around public streets without practicing the health guidelines given by the Health Ministry. With the implementation of curfew, I hope that people will be encouraged to refrain from going outside. The citizens must stay at home except for emergencies and necessary appointments.
Announcement for the Expatriates
The Ministry of Interior has announced that expatriates whose residence has expired can immediately leave the country without paying their violation fines. They are also granted with the possibility to be able to return to Kuwait. The letter submitted by the Ministry of Interior to the Cabinet Ministers states that these illegal expatriates can complete their own travel procedures without approval from a sponsor or company. However, for the expatriates who are wanted by the security forces and have a travel ban placed on them, they are not included in the guidelines. The document further entails that there will be a given timeframe for the residency violators in which they can leave the country. Failure to do that will be subjected to legally established penalties. Consequently, they will be deported from the country and not be allowed to return.
I can’t help but admire the great respect and concern that the Kuwaiti government has shown to the expatriates in the country. The authorities are giving them a chance to go home without paying for the fines. In this time of crisis, each of us needs to go back to our homeland.
The COVID-19 Situation in the Country
With the implementation of the partial curfew in the country, the security officials in the country begin their warning of the implemented curfew. A posted video shows the authorities’ announcement in Khaitan, giving the people a warning against the implemented curfew.
Then, most of Kuwait’s streets and highways have become empty and deserted. Different posted videos show the compliance of the citizens and residents in their respective regions. It is evident in the video that there are fewer cars in the streets. The citizens and resident parked their cars on the side of the buildings.
I am quite amazed by the immediate obedience of Kuwait’s citizens towards implementing the partial curfew by the government. It shows that the citizens are abiding with the guidelines in hopes of ending this dark trial that the country is currently facing.
An Inspiring Message from His Highness the Amir
His Highness, the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, has praised the extensive measures implemented by the Kuwait authorities and the citizens’ cooperation in halting the spread of COVID-19 disease. He stressed the importance of solidarity in overcoming this global health crisis. The country is currently affected by this global infectious pandemic. With the direction of His Highness Sheikh Sabah, the government will ensure the safety and welfare of its citizens, both the national and residents.
For the Kuwait citizens and students abroad, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah has contacted them, ensuring the safety of their travel back to the country by the precautionary guidelines. He commended the efforts of those who put their lives on the line to serve the country. He also praised the National Assembly Speaker and MPs to cooperate and collaborate with the cabinet in the country’s fight against the pandemic. Lastly, he has thanked the members of the society and private sectors for their positive contribution.
His Highness the Amir has reassured the abundant supply of food rations and essential commodities. Proper regulation to the population is needed to preserve these resources from irresponsible use and overconsumption.
He has expressed his apologies for the impact of the COVID-19 disease, especially on Kuwaitis and residents’ morale. Nonetheless, he has guaranteed that Kuwait will soon overcome this challenge through solidarity, unity, and sacrifice. He has urged the public for confidence and patience during this grave situation as the country aims to control the pandemic and save the lives of its victims.
I appreciate the kindness of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. I can see that he tries to connect with the citizens, not only inside the country but also to the ones abroad. He always ensures the safety and welfare of Kuwait citizens. Today marks the 11th day of the quarantine and 1st day of the curfew. The implementation of the curfew in Kuwait is enforced to address the non-compliance of the citizen during their quarantine. I hope for the utmost obedience of the people to the guidelines.
Public Advisory and Greetings from the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait
The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait has released a public advisory for the Filipino community in Kuwait. It entails implementing the nationwide curfew from 5:00 pm to 4:00 am starting today on March 22, 2020. The Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Anas Al-Saleh have issued a warning against any violators against the curfew. The consequences will be imprisonment for up to three years and pay a fine of KD 10,000, equivalent to 1.6 million pesos. The government of Kuwait has still not released any information about the date of its termination.
By its implementation, the Embassy has announced the suspension of passport releasing and claiming starting Monday of March 23, 2020, except for emergency cases. With this, the Embassy further reminds the Overseas Filipino Workers in the country to stay at home and abide by the rules executed by the Kuwaiti authorities. Everyone is encouraged to follow the Embassy’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts for further advisories and information.
Lastly, the Philippine Embassy wishes our Muslim brothers and sisters around the world for a meaningful, safe, and socially distant observance of Isra’a Wal Mi’raj (The Prophet’s Night Journey and Ascent to Heaven).
In the Philippines, the Department of Health has announced 73 new COVID-19 cases with six additional deaths and four recoveries. It brings to a total tally of 380 cases with 25 deaths and 17 recoveries. Compared to yesterday, the new number of COVID-19 cases has increased.
The Malacañang has announced that the restriction of people’s movement in the entire Luzon will help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo has said President Duterte needs to isolate the areas affected with COVID-19 to save the rest of the community in contracting the deadly virus. He further warns the public that when a household member goes out of the house, he or she automatically becomes the direct contact of the people outside to the people in their respective homes.
The Overseas Welfare Workers Administration (OWWA) will provide free temporary accommodation for the returning Overseas Filipino Workers in the hotels for their mandatory 14-day quarantine protocol for Filipino workers abroad. Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles has affirmed that the distressed OFWs can accommodate in hotels or similar establishments after they arrive in the country. It will aid the OFWs during the implementation of enhanced community quarantine in the country.
I am relieved that the Philippines implemented the full lockdown measures immediately due to the high rate of infectivity within the localities. I thank the Philippine government for their reliable response in controlling the pandemic. With these protocols, I have faith that the Philippines can gradually curb the spread of coronavirus disease.
“Bakit ako nalulungkot, Bakit ako nagdaramdam? Sa Diyos ako’y may tiwala, Siya aking inaasahan.”Mga Awit 42:11
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