CORONAVIRUS:KUWAIT OFW QUARANTINE DAY #13 -A Genuine Leader to Guide the Nation

March 24, 2020, Tuesday

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a molder of consensus.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

All countries around the world are facing the crisis brought by the COVID-19 disease. It assessed each leader in the region on how they can effectively lead their countrymen. In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health has announced two new COVID-19 cases with nine recoveries. It brings to a total of 191 cases with 39 recovered cases. Within the new cases, there are 1 Filipino and 1 Indian resident who had contact with a case traveling to the United Kingdom. Currently, there are 152 active cases and 5 cases under the intensive care unit. Compared to yesterday, the new number of COVID-19 cases has increased.

Update of COVID-19 cases in Kuwait at March 24, 2020

 The Ministry of Health has announced an update of the procedures for the arriving passengers in Kuwait. The authorities have imposed compulsory institutional quarantine to the arriving passengers for at least 14 days. Instead of imposing this procedure on selected countries affected by COVID-19 disease, the Health Ministry has mandated its implementation to all countries. 

Protocols for Arriving Citizens and Residents

The authorities are ensuring the prevention of the COVID-19 virus due to international flights. With this, they will focus on preventing further local transmission in the country. It is a right decision intended for the welfare and safety of the citizens and arriving passengers.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Health has decided to withdraw all the medicines containing hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine from the private pharmacies. They have provided it to hospitals and health centers only. Undersecretary of Health for Drug and Food Control Affairs Dr. Abdullah Al-Bader has affirmed that they executed the decision to oblige the pharmacies to provide the Drug Inspection Department with details of its quantities. He further added that the ministry would be more stringent over the exchange and circulation of these medicines to preserve the health of COVID-19 patients.

 They want to prevent any misuse or monopoly of these drugs. The Health Ministry aims to track and monitor the quantities of the drugs that they spent. They have stressed that the drug name Blacknell which contains hydroxychloroquine, is registered in the country for the treatment of diseases such as lupus, arthritis, and skin allergy diseases. However, it is not licensed and approved by the ministry for the treatment of COVID-19. The said drug is still experimental treatment for specific cases of COVID-19 patients under the supervision of the specialized medical staff.

The government is very strict and cautious about the distribution of these drugs. It is because these drugs are not completely registered yet to treat the COVID-19 virus. The full research is needed to ensure safety to the patients who will be using it.

The Government Spokesman Tareq Al-Mezerm has announced the funds to support the COVID-19 countermeasures in Kuwait. These established the funds to allow the institutes, companies, and individuals to give monetary contributions to the fight against COVID-19 disease. During the press conference at Seif Palace, he indicated that establishing the fund came from the cabinet’s decision. They created an authorized website for the fund to receive the support given by the citizens officially. They will announce the bank details for the fund soon.

 Meanwhile, Al-Mezrem has commended the National Assembly’s cooperation with the government during the COVID-19 crisis. He emphasized the significance of the amendments that they implemented in the law against the contagious disease. These amendments will further prevent the possibility of individuals harming the community by intentionally spreading the disease. Lastly, he reminded the citizens to abide by the rules set by the authorities to curb the spread of the virus successfully. 

 It is good to know that the government is giving the citizens and private sectors a chance to offer their respective money contributions for the funds of the country. Monetary funds are a big help to the nation’s fight against COVID-19 disease.

His Highness Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah has visited the command center of the Ministry of Interior and the checkpoints established by the Kuwait National Guard (PKG) and the Interior Ministry. He has managed to follow up on the efforts in the implementation of the partial curfew against this pandemic crisis. During his visits, he is accompanied by the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior, and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh.

 Furthermore, he has commended His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for preparing the guidelines of the security forces in the country. He also further praised the authorities’ leadership and the compliance of the citizens and residents with the regulations. With this, he hopes that the situation will end well for the people of Kuwait. 

His Highness Prime Minister visits Security Checkpoints

 His Highness Prime Minister always makes sure that the implementation of the curfew is working as planned. He regularly checks the operations of his constituents. This characteristic of him makes him a good leader of the country. 

The authorities reported that some residents had created chaos in the place. They have kept on raising their voices and annoying their neighboring houses. The police have immediately responded. In the video, a security man asks those people to stop this kind of behavior and pray inside their homes.

Chaos in the Residents

These people are calling to Allah as the pandemic crisis in the country continues. It is good that they have expressed their faith to Allah. However, there is no need to shout it out of the window. It may trigger panic among the neighboring homes, which is why the authorities have responded to it immediately. To entirely stop the spread of this pandemic, we must cooperate with the authorities and practice the health guidelines.

 In Kuwait, the Philippine Embassy released a public advisory for the Overseas Filipino Workers about the Embassy’s operations from March 29, 2020, to April 8, 2020. The Public Advisory informs the Filipino community in Kuwait that the Embassy will resume its activities on March 29, 2020, to April 8, 2020. It will open at 9:00 in the morning until 2:00 in the afternoon. It is by the government’s decision to extend the official holidays to curb the spread of COVID-19 disease.

 On April 9, 2020, the Embassy will close its office to observe the twin Philippine Holidays, the Araw ng Kagitingan, and Maundy Thursday. The office will also close on April 12, 2020, in observance of Easter Sunday.

 Furthermore, the Embassy informs the Overseas Filipino Workers that during their reopening of operations on the dates mentioned above, there are specific frontline services that will not be available. It includes passport renewal application, passport claiming except for emergencies, Philippine Visa application, notarization and authentication of documents, civil registration, civil weddings, and requests for solemnization of marriage and the Embassy Assisted Repatriation Program (EARP). However, the office will remain open for Assistance-to-Nationals (ATN) services except for the EARP.  

 Lastly, the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait appeals to the Filipino community to continue to stay at home and abide by the implemented guidelines of the Kuwait government. They must also continue to follow up on the Embassy’s official Facebook page, and Twitter account for the latest advisories and updates.

Public Advisory of Philippine Embassy in Kuwait

 In addition to that, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. , and Vice Consul Charleson C. Hermosura posted a video about the reminders and public advisories published by the Philippine Embassy. The video entailed a report of a crowd gathering in the Embassy’s office and reached the authorities of Kuwait. Therefore, they are now regulating the number of people inside the establishment. Mr. Hermosura reminds the Overseas Filipino Workers in Kuwait to keep update to the public advisories issued by the Embassy. 

Reminders from Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. at Vice Consul Charleson C. Hermosura

In the Philippines, the Department of Health reported 90 new COVID-19 cases with two additional deaths and two recovered cases. It brings to a total of 552 COVID-19 cases with 35 fatalities and 29 recovered cases. Among the total cases in the country, the Health Department reported 322 cases in the last four days. It comprises nearly 60 percent of the total cases. Twenty-eight out of the 35 patients who died due to COIVD-19 disease are male patients. It shall consist of 80 percent of the total deaths. Lastly, twenty-five out of 35 patients who died is senior citizens. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases in the country decreased.

Update of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines on March 24, 2020

 The Department of Foreign Affairs reported the number of Overseas Filipino Workers infected with COVID-19 disease abroad reached a total of 169 cases in this March 24, 2020. In the new cases, there are 111 cases in the Asia Pacific region, 20 in Europe, 18 in the Middle East, and 20 in the Americas. The department affirmed that there are 90 recovered cases, while 77 cases are currently under treatment. The DFA has yet to give the details of the specific number of Filipino patients in every country. However, they received a report of seven Filipinos who are undergoing treatment in the hospitals of Hongkong. 

 Additionally, Senator Christopher Lawrence Go assures the Overseas Filipino Workers abroad that the government is ready to provide any assistance, especially to those who wanted to return home during this pandemic crisis. He further added that the President’s stand is to welcome the Filipinos abroad who want to come back home because if the country will not accept them, where will they go?

Furthermore, he confirmed that the government prepared the funds needed for the return of the OFWs. With the proposal of Senate Bill 1418 or the “Bayanihan to Heal As One Act,” the government can provide facilities that will ensure the security, availability of food, and final assistance while the country is in enhanced community quarantine.

Today marks the 13th day of the quarantine and 3rd day of the curfew. Kuwait has a total of 191 cases, and the Philippines has 552 cases. The authorities of both countries continue to reassure their citizens in the country and abroad that the government is ready to support them. In this way, the people will have faith that the government is working things out during this pandemic crisis.

“O Panginoong Dios, nilikha niyo ang langit at lupa sa pamamagitan ng kapangyarihan ninyo. Walang anumang bagay na hindi n’yo po magagawa.”

Jeremiah 23:17

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Author

  • Gracia Amor, A Multi-Award winner blogger; Presidential Award; Mass Media Advocacy Award, Philippine Expat Blog Award, and Most Outstanding Balikbayan Award. An OFW and Investment Literacy Advocate. Her first book, the Global Filipino Bloggers OFW Edition, reviewed and launched at Philippine Embassy Kuwait. Became a certified Registered Financial Planner of the Philippines (RFP), with specialization in Stock Market. Currently, a position PH stock trader in PSE. Digital Marketing Specialist. A proud founder of Teachers Specialist Org in Kuwait TSOK, Filipino Bloggers in Kuwait FBK. A Poet and a Photo hobbyist in between.

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