CORONAVIRUS:KUWAIT OFW QUARANTINE DAY #42- The Religious Observance of Ramadan

April 22, 2020, Wednesday

“We all have times when life feels hard; when we’re frustrated and tired and just want to hide. If that is you right now, don’t worry – every caterpillar has to rest to become a butterfly, and you’ll soon find your wings again. In the meantime, let your Angels wrap you in theirs. You are so loved.”

-Anna Taylor

The time for Ramadan is almost upon us, and as the Covid-19 virus continues to take the lives of thousands all over the globe, our faith and prayers are have become a more critical source of hope and strength during these trying times.  As the people and government of Kuwait continue to fight against this unseen enemy, let us not forget to remain steadfast in our faith and continue to pray for God’s guidance and mercy.

In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health announced 168 new COVID-19 cases with 31 additional recoveries, and two other coronavirus deaths being recorded. This brings to a total tally of 2248 cases, with 443 recovered cases and 13 deaths. Within the new evidence, six were related to travel, with 1 being a Kuwaiti national who went to the United Arab Emirates, and another 5 Kuwaitis who traveled to the United Kingdom. One hundred and forty-five of them had contact with confirmed cases with 5 being Kuwaiti nationals, 80 cases of Indian residents, 21 cases of Egyptian residents, 5 cases of Nepali residents, 4 Syrian residents, six instances of Pakistani residents, 3 Filipino residents, 3 N.K. residents, 2 Sri Lankan residents, 1 Yemen resident, 1 K.S.A. resident, 1 Lebanese resident, 1 Iranian, one from Benin, and one case of a Jordan resident. Other cases include 4 cases Kuwaiti nationals, 1 Jordanian resident, and 1 Pakistani resident.

 One thousand, seven hundred and ninety-two patients are currently receiving medical treatment, while 50 are in the intensive care unit with 21 cases being critical; another 29 are stable in the last 24 hours, and seven more cases being transferred to the I.C.U. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases increased. 

“Update of COVID-19 cases in Kuwait on April 22, 2020.”

Updates Regarding the Celebration of Ramadan

Today marks the 42nd day of the quarantine and the 32nd day of the curfew. Since then, the Chairman of the Kuwaiti Sharia Vision Authority, Counselor Yusuf Al-Mutawa, released a statement to the public that the commission will continue its meeting tomorrow Thursday to seek the crescent of the Holy Month of Ramadan.

The advisor Al-Mutawa also said to the press with reference to the statement given by the Ministry of Justice regarding the meeting of the Sharia Vision Authority this evening to seek the vision of the blessed month of Ramadan for the year 1441 AH.

This Wednesday, The Director of Funeral Affairs Department in the Kuwait Municipality, Dr. Faisal Al-Awadi, released a statement to the press, which announced that the changing of burial schedules during the holy month of Ramadan is to be implemented. The updated schedule will now be from 9 am until 2 pm in order to facilitate the services and control the number of people from the families of the deceased and the mourners.

Burial Timings to be Changed During Ramadan

These new and updated guidelines by the government were based on the recommendations of the Council of Ministers and health directives issued by the Ministry of Health to mitigate the rate of infection of the COVID-19 virus. The Municipality also clarified that the funeral affairs department does not initiate burial procedures for the deceased except after the arrival of the burial permit with the body of the deceased, which is issued by the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Interior as the case may be.

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah also released a statement to the press, which expressed his sincerest greetings to all the residents and expatriates in the country as they all approach the advent of the Holy Month of Ramadan. The Amiri Diwan, however, regrets to inform the public that His Highness the Amir would not be able to receive any of his well-wishers this year due to the precautionary health measures set by the government to halt the transmission of the virus. Nevertheless, he expresses his wishes of welfare, safety, and prosperity to all the leaders and the people of Kuwait and all the Arab and Muslim countries throughout the globe.

Distribution of Humanitarian Aid in Isolated Areas

This Wednesday, the Kuwait Red Crescent Society has again spearheaded the initiative to deliver humanitarian aid to those sectors most affected by the lockdown. The Society participated in the distribution of at least 1,00 food relief packages to the workers and residents of the quarantined area of the Jleeb Al-Shoyuokh District.

Distribution of Food Packages in Jleeb Al-Shuyuokh District

The Director-General Abdulrahman Al-Oun of the Kuwait Red Crescent Society announced his remarks concerning the in light of the recent efforts of the Red Crescent Society, which involved the distribution of another 1,500 food baskets last week to the laborers living in the Jleeb Al-Shoyuokh District and also to another quarantined region, Al-Mahboula.

Field Testing for Coronavirus in Kuwait

In order to better mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in the various districts of Kuwait, The Ministry of Health has recently implemented a field-testing campaign for the emerging coronavirus in multiple parts of the country. Regarding the Ministry’s efforts at the beginning of the campaign to conduct a comprehensive field survey, Dr. Buthainah Al-Mudaf Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health released a statement to the press that the aforementioned campaign will first take part in the areas where the virus originally appeared.

This comes in light of the Ministry of Health’s plan to conduct an epidemiological investigation to search and limit the source of the outbreak. Dr. Buthainah Al-Mudaf also praised the support of the Minister of Health Sheikh Dr. Basil Al-Sabah and the Deputy Minister Mustafa Reda in helping to overcome the logistical and bureaucratic obstacles regarding the campaign.

Testing for the Coronavirus

The Ministry’s mobile team also took part in taking random smears and measured the temperature, oxygen saturation, and other vitals of the citizens in order to detect any symptoms associated with the COVID-19 virus.

In the Capital Governorate, Governor Sheikh Talal Al-Khaled supervised the examination and also the quarantine of approximately 1,000 laborers who currently reside in the four buildings situated in the Sharq and Al-Mirqab regions.

Kuwaiti Citizens Line up for Field Testing Campaign

In a statement to the press, Al-Khaled expressed his gratitude towards the Public Health Undersecretary at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Buthaina Al-Mudhaf, and the medical and security staff who were in the front lines in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.

I wish to thank the Ministry of Health, the medical staff, and the security personnel who facilitated the field-testing campaign launched by the government. These extensive efforts by our front liners really go a long way in helping contain the spread of the outbreak so that we may all soon return to our normal lives. I cannot thank them enough for their noble contributions and sacrifices, and it is my ardent hope that they continue to provide the best healthcare services for the people of Kuwait.

Updates from the Philippine Embassy

In the Philippines, the Department of Health announced 111 new COVID-19 cases with nine additional deaths and thirty-nine recoveries. It brings to a total tally of 6,710 cases with 446 fatalities and 693 recovered incidents. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases decreased.

Today, the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait released an advisory, which concerns an online survey for the possible repatriation of Visa 14 and 22 holders, especially to the ones who currently do not have airline tickets with them and are unable to leave Kuwait. They are requested to visit the Google link in the advisory below, and those who wish to take part are required to upload a clear photo of their Visa 14 and 22 on their passports.

Public Advisory from the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait Regarding the Online Survey for the Possible Repatriation Visa Holders

The deadline for the survey is on Saturday this April 25, 2020, at 11:59 pm. There are no final repatriation details yet. However, those who took part in the survey are advised to follow the Embassy’s official website to stay up to date with future updates regarding their repatriation.

As the advent of the Holy Month of Ramadan draws near, it is important for us to remember that this is a sacred religious practice for our Muslim brothers and sisters in Kuwait. Put simply; it is a month of fasting for Muslims worldwide in commemoration of the revelation of their Holy Book, the Qu’ran, to the Prophet Muhammad. Muslim citizens in Kuwait will refrain from food and drink from dawn till dusk, only breaking their fast with dates at sunset. In many ways, Ramadan is the best month to open up a fresh new perspective and immerse oneself with the experience of Islamic traditions. However, I would like to remind everyone that Kuwait is a conservative Muslim country, and as such, there are cultural and religious traditions we need to respect so that we do not offend our Muslim brothers and sisters.

It is advised to make more of an effort to dress conservatively during the holy month. While other Arab countries are lenient in some of their regulations, such as Dubai, in Kuwait, I would advise everyone to refrain from wearing revealing, tight and short clothes to prevent offending the citizens. Generally, covering yourself from your shoulders to your knees is advised for both men and women. Public displays of affection are considered very disrespectful in Kuwait, especially between unmarried couples. This is heightened during Ramadan and can be very offensive, so refrain from touching and kissing in public spaces.

 Ramadan is a time for thanking the goodness of Allah, and it is with a grateful heart that I wish to express my thanks for his wisdom in providing us with the compassionate healthcare workers that we have today. I am truly humbled by their immense sacrifices, dedication, and commitment to managing the COVID-19 outbreak. Although the pandemic has put significant pressure on the healthcare system of Kuwait, our doctors, nurses, security personnel, and essential workers continue to risk their lives for the benefit of the country and in service to the people of Kuwait. I am also thankful for the Philippine Embassy, the authorities of Kuwait, and all the members of the public who have volunteered so that they may cater to the needs of their community. Together, I am confident that we will win the fight against the pandemic.

Narito, binigyan ko kayo ng kapamahalaan na inyong yurakan ang mga ahas at ang mga alakdan, at sa ibabaw ng lahat ng kapangyarihan ng kaaway: at sa anomang paraa’y hindi kayo maaano. 

Lucas 10:19

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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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