April 3, 2020, Friday
“COVID-19 is not just a medical challenge, but a spiritual challenge too. In order to defeat COVID, humanity needs to follow the path of self-purification, compassion, nonviolence, God, and Nature.”-Amit Ray
In the past few months, the international community has been shaken by a pandemic that has disturbed the lives of millions worldwide. As such, every country has developed its own set of measures to combat this threat.
In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health announced 75 new COVID-19 cases with one additional recovery. This brings to a total tally of 417 cases with 82 recovered cases. Within the new cases, seven are related to travel, 36 had contact with confirmed cases, and 32 are under investigation. Three hundred thirty-five patients are currently receiving medical treatment, while 16 are in the intensive care unit. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases has increased.
Kuwait’s Coronavirus Combat Operations
It is the 23rd day of quarantine and the 13th day of curfew. In order to stem the transmission of Covid-19 cases, Kuwait’s Municipality has launched a massive sanitization campaign, the biggest yet in the Capital Governate. This was announced by Kuwait’s Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Waleed Al-Jassem as part of a bigger plan to contain the spread of the Coronavirus. This extraordinary campaign began at the Al-Mubarakiyah marketplace and proceeded to cover all the areas of the Capitol Governate, which followed similar trappings in the Al-Farwaniyah Governate. It makes me rest easy knowing that the authorities in Kuwait have spared no effort, done everything in its power, and more in contributing to the fight against the pandemic. Therefore, we, the public, should also offer our full cooperation in helping the government by staying at home and practicing social distancing.
As such, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, commended the State of Kuwait as the largest contributor to the fight against the novel Coronavirus.
The Kuwait Municipality Director-General Mohammad Al-Manfouhi released an order that stated the closure of all stores that catered to the sale, repair, and maintenance of auto spare parts starting this Friday. There are exceptions to this, however, as Al Manfouhi said that those stores who are bonded with repair and maintenance contracts with the auto services of the government could continue with their work provided they do not pursue transactions with the general populace. They can also pursue work via electronic websites and telephone services as these measures are a part of the precautions that need to be followed in the fight against the virus.
It gladdens me to see that the various branches of the government and the citizens of this nation are all working hand-in-hand for the collective good of society. Just now, the Ministry of Defense has completed Friday Hall V in the International Fairs Ground and has since then relinquished it to the Ministry of Health to be used for quarantine. The work done by the Ministry of Defense is nothing short of exceptional, as they have been working hard and round-the-clock in finishing the 259-room quarantine in Hall V within three days. These accommodations are fully furnished and have met the requirements set by the Ministry of Health regarding the guidelines for containing individuals infected with the virus.
Not only does Kuwait seek to contain the adverse effects of the virus locally, but its government has also reached out in partnership with other nations in order to collaborate and pool its resources and efforts with other nations in mitigating the threat of this pandemic. Today, Foreign Minister Sheik Dr. Ahmad Nasser-Al Mohammad Al-Sabah phoned his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar as they discussed through phone calls on how to boost the cooperation between their two countries not only in various sectors but also with helping cope with the spread of COVID-19 throughout the globe.
Update on the Repatriation of OFW’s
In a press release by the Kuwait Ministry of Interior, they stated that the first batch of around 300 undocumented Filipino expatriates whose residency permits have expired has left for Manila earlier this Friday. It warms my heart to know that Kuwait’s Government has extended its concern for our Filipino expatriates by placing them in housing facilities while also providing them with meals up until their departure. It is also possible for them to come back to work in Kuwait, provided they obtain new residency permits. This flight, according to the Ministry of Interior, was part of a process by the state to encourage foreigners with expired residencies to be able to leave the country without additional fines. Both the Philippine Embassy and Ministry of Interior have released specified dates for every nationality with invalid residency permits to come forward, and I encourage our Filipino brethren to do the same.
The Philippine Embassy also notified that due to the large number of amnesty applications in the processing centers in Farwaniya, it has then released a new and updated schedule for the free rides home offered by its partner organizations those individuals who seek to avail the amnesty.
The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait likewise urges Filipino expatriates to avail of this free amnesty program, and I would encourage them to do the same. This, however, does not include those who are affected by the travel ban and individuals with unexpired Visas.
COVID-19 Updates in the Philippines
In the Philippines, the Department of Health announced 385 new COVID-19 cases with twenty-nine additional deaths and one recovery. It brings to a total tally of 3,018 with 136 fatalities and 52 recovered cases. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases increased.
In a press release, the Department of Health has recently announced that it will increase its effort and enhance collaboration with other agencies in the government to ramp up their testing capacities in order to improve its capability in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. They emphasized they will be focusing its testing efforts on those in need. These include all persons under investigation and vulnerable populations such as healthcare workers and frontliners who are more exposed to confirmed cases. DOH is also intensifying its efforts to analyze existing medical data for a more accurate assessment of the current health situation, and working with other government agencies to construct quarantine facilities to accommodate more confirmed cases. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) recorded 466 COVID-19 cases of Filipinos abroad with 129 recoveries, fourteen fatalities, and 316 patients who are currently undergoing treatment. Within the death tolls, they recorded twelve cases from Europe, one from the Asia Pacific region, three from the Middle East, and five from the Americas.
As the global population struggles to cope with the effects of the current pandemic, we must always remember that our best weapons are our preventative measures. I encourage everyone to stick to the guidelines of the quarantine and follow social distancing at all times. Until a COVID vaccine is invented, we need to get used to this different kind of normal since the good habits that we cultivate will serve as the best tools we can use to avoid being infected. We must always be vigilant with our surroundings and also remember to look out for each other during these troubling times.
At sinabi ni Moises sa bayan, Huwag kayong matakot, tumigil kayo, at tingnan ninyo ang pagliligtas ng Panginoon na gagawin sa inyo ngayon: sapagka’t ang mga Egipcio na inyong nakikita ngayon, ay hindi na ninyo uli makikita magpakailanman.
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