CORONAVIRUS:KUWAIT OFW QUARANTINE DAY #14 -Sequencing the Attributes of the Virus

March 25, 2020, Wednesday

“When solving problems, dig at the roots instead of just hacking at the leaves.”

Anthony J. D’Angelo

 In resolving a certain problem, it is natural for us to examine its roots. As COVID-19 affects many countries worldwide, medical researchers inspect the SARS-CoV-2 virus closely to gain a full understanding of its nature. In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health has confirmed four new COVID-19 cases with four recovered cases. It brings to a total of 195 cases with four recoveries.

Within the new cases, 1 of them is a Kuwait citizen who has travel history to Saudi Arabia, 1 Kuwait citizen with travel history to the United Kingdom, and two residents who are under investigation. Currently, there are 152 active cases. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of COVID-19 cases has increased.

Update of COVID-19 cases in Kuwait at March 25, 2020

In the Gulf and the Middle East, a medical center announced that Kuwait is leading in the genome sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. DDI’s Director-General Dr. Qais Al-Duwairi has affirmed that the Dasman Diabetes Institute (DDI) has successfully sequenced the genetic makeup of the four samples of SARS-CoV-2 virus. They retrieved the examined samples from abroad rather than from the country. He also confirmed that the virus possesses genetic mutation abilities, rendering it more serious than other types of viruses. They conducted the research to gain a greater understanding of the nature of the illness and respond to relevant scientific questions.

 The information about the virus from other countries has confirmed that the virus has slight mutations. However, Kuwaiti researchers have proved that the country’s virus strains are very similar to the strain found in Wuhan City and Germany. With the Ministry of Health’s collaboration, the Institute plans to conduct more research on the novel coronavirus.

DDI’s Director General Dr. Qais Al-Duwairi

The country’s move to conduct its research about the COVID-19 virus is a wise decision during this pandemic. It is to produce Its information instead of relying on the data given by other countries. In this way, the country’s researchers will be able to understand it better. As a result, the authorities will be able to decide the right amendments or guidelines that they will implement in the community.

The authorities reported that the second flight, which evacuated 190 Kuwait citizens from Cairo, Egypt, has arrived successfully in Kuwait.  It is good to know that these citizens were able to return to their homeland. The government has shown its concern towards its fellow citizens. After its arrival, they will be transported immediately in private buses for their institutional quarantine. It is to ensure that the COVID-19 virus did not infect them. 

Arrival of Kuwait citizens from Cairo

Before the arrival of the citizens, His Highness Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah has inspected the medical examination halls and preparations for the repatriation of the citizens at the Kuwait International Airport. During his visit, he is with the Minister of Health Sheikh Dr. Bassel Humoud Al-Sabah, Chair of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud Al-Sabah, Minister of State for Services and Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs Mubarak Salem Al-Harees, senior officers of the Ministry of Interior, Kuwait Airways and the Kuwait  Fire Service Directorate.

 His Highness, the Prime Minister, has held a meeting about the facility’s situation during the current crisis and the preparations for the repatriation of Kuwait citizens from several countries. With this, he affirmed that the authorities are doing these plans by the instructions by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to hasten the return of the Kuwait citizens. 

Kuwait’s Prime Minister inspecting the Airports

The decision of the Prime Minister to check these airports personally is outstanding. With his presence, the concerned authorities will be able to inspect the parts that need improvement for the safe travel of the Kuwait citizens. The health authorities must check well the medical examinations of the expatriates to prevent any mistakes on their arrival.

 In addition to that, Kuwait’s Ministry of Public works has announced its plans to build temporary homes for the 25,000 expatriate laborers in accordance to limit the spread of COVID-19 disease. The Ministry of Public Works’ Abdullah Al-Ajmi has stated that it will execute the decision with the Ministry of Health’s cooperation. They will conduct field inspections to ensure that the temporary homes are up to proper living standards. 

 This decision reassured all citizens and residents that they would have a home to stay during the curfew and quarantine period. Isolating oneself from the public is very crucial for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 disease. 

The Embassy of the Philippines in Kuwait reported that 253 distressed Filipinos are returning to the Philippines. Due to the threat of COVID-19 disease and the subsequent lockdown of the country, these Filipino workers will return home on a humanitarian flight arranged by the Kuwait government through the Philippine Embassy and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in the country. These Filipinos came from the Talha Deportation Center, Embassy Shelter, and the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) Expatriate Shelter.

Departure of Distressed OFWS in Kuwait
Preparation for Departure of Filipino Citizens

In the video, the Filipino expatriates expressed their happiness and gratitude to the authorities for arranging their flight back home. It is good to know that the Kuwaiti authorities attended the needs of our fellow Filipino expatriates who wish to come back home. Through this way, they can unite with their respective families amidst this pandemic crisis.

In the Philippines, the Department of Health announced 84 new COVID-19 cases with three additional deaths and six recoveries. It brings to a total of 636 cases with 38 fatalities and 26 recovered cases. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases in the country increased.

Update of COVID-19 cases in Philippines at March 25, 2020

On March 25, 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act to grant him special powers to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 virus in the country. Through this act, the health workers infected with the COVID-19 disease will receive 100,000 pesos as compensation for their service. It includes a financial aid of 1 million pesos for the families who contracted the disease and died while serving the community during this pandemic crisis. The 18 million low-income households will receive an emergency subsidy worth 5,000 pesos to 8,000 pesos for two months.

Furthermore, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) affirmed that they would provide financial assistance worth USD200, which is equivalent to 10,000 pesos for the Overseas Filipino Workers abroad where the COVID-19 pandemic affected their work. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a statement that the authorities are looking at 70,000 Filipino workers who the government will provide with cash assistance. Its primary purpose is to address the immediate needs of the displaced workers that belong to the vulnerable sectors during this pandemic crisis. 

 For the Filipino workers to avail of the said program, they must submit their certificate of employment issued by their respective agencies. Then, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) or Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will process and evaluate their applications. In this way, the authorities advised the Filipino community abroad to get in touch with POLO in their host country. There are currently 212,718 Filipino workers displaced globally because of the spread of COVID-19 disease.

Today marks the 14th day of the quarantine and 4th day of the curfew. Kuwait has a total tally of 195 COVID-19 cases, while the Philippines has 636 cases. I give my great thanks to the Philippine government for sending the distressed OFWs back home. Nothing compares the happiness that the OFWs felt as they return home.

As both governments of these countries continue their fight against COVID-19 disease, they did not overlook the importance of researching the primary source of the pandemic crisis, which is the virus itself. In this way, they can collaborate more with each of their medical research and knowledge in defeating the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Huwag kayong matakot sa mga kumakalaban sa inyo. Dahil kung hindi kayo natatakot, magiging palatandaan ito sa kanilla na mapapahamak sila at ililigtas naman kayo ng Diyos.”

Filipos 1:2

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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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