CORONAVIRUS: KUWAIT OFW QUARANTINE DAY #51 – Unceasing Hard Work in the Labor Day

May 1, 2020

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”

Colin Powell

Facing the COVID-19 pandemic requires diligent labor to save more lives and prevent the rapid spread of the virus. Our situation can get more critical without the valiant service of our frontliners and workers in every country. For that, we owe very much to the heroes of this pandemic. Today, as we celebrate Labor Day, let us think of all the sacrifices they made for the community’s welfare. 

In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health announced 353 new COVID-19 cases with four additional deaths and 63 recoveries. It brings to a total tally of 4,377 cases with 30 fatalities and 1,602 recovered cases. There are 2,745 patients undergoing treatment, while 70 patients are under the intensive care unit. Within the new cases, nine are related to travel, 337 had contact with confirmed cases, and seven are under investigation. The cases due to contact are composed of 62 Kuwait nationals, 103 Indian residents, 47 Egyptian residents, 30 Bangladeshi residents, and the rest came from other nationalities. The report today is the highest among the daily reported cases.

Update of COVID-19 cases in Kuwait on May 1, 2020

Testing of Positive Cases

As the health authorities continue their COVID-19 testing in the community, many employees tested positive for coronavirus infection. It includes a volunteer in a supermarket in Jaleeb Al-Shuyoukh. As a result, the establishment remains closed until the authorities will conduct sterilization to it. Another two volunteers in Mubarak Al-Kabeer Cooperative also tested positive according to the Member and Treasurer of the Mubarak Al-Kabeer Association and Al-Qurain Board of Directors, Dr. Hamid Boushahri.

The health authorities also reported that the Head of the Salaries Department at the Ministry of Health, Hanan Atesh, and the Head of the Social and Psychological Service Department at the Kuwait Cancer Center, Hoda Ahmad Al-Shehab, tested positive while working in their respective establishments.

In the Mishref Branch of National Bank of Kuwait, the authorities confirmed one COVID-19 case within their employees. For that, the NBK coordinated with the Ministry of Health to implement preventive measures and to ensure that their infected employee receives the needed medical treatment. They immediately evacuated the branch and isolated the contacts of the employees. They will transfer other employees to the competent authorities for proper examination of their health. Sterilization will also be conducted.

 Lastly, the National Bank of Kuwait is committed to the honesty and transparency of dealing with its customers. They strictly follow preventive and health procedures, ensuring the safety of both customers and employees of their branches. 

 It is saddening to know that the coronavirus disease affects the hard-working employees of the establishments who remain open amidst the implementation of total curfew. As I hope for their steadfast recovery, I am thankful for their noble service for the community.  

Further return of the Expatriates

The Repatriation programs of the Kuwait government continues. A total of 1,676 Kuwait citizens arrived through six flights today. The photo below shows the great happiness that the citizens felt as they return home in Kuwait. It is indeed a wonderful feeling to come back home. 

Arrival of 1,676 Kuwait Citizens
Kuwait Citizens who arrived today

Because the Kuwait government implemented the “leave safely” campaign, a total of 23,500 violators managed to benefit the implementation. It is one of the biggest humanitarian jobs done by the country. I commend and thank the authorities for letting these residents return home so they can unite with their family as each of us face the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

23,500 Violators in Kuwait

The Situation of the Communities in Kuwait

 Even with the ongoing “No Work, No Pay” situation within the country, it is a great relief to the citizens and residents to receive more food packages from the government and private sectors. The authorities distributed food packages to the citizens and residents in Mahboula. I am grateful that they did not forget the needs of the community.

Food Distribution in Mahboula

However, the photo shows a long queue of people without physical distancing from each other. The people who lined up for the food failed to follow the precautionary health measures recommended by the health authorities. Proper organization of the long queue must be implemented to prevent the transmission of Coronavirus during food distributions. 

Another video shows the Interior Ministry’s efforts reminding the people in public places always to maintain social distancing. There are still many people going outside to conduct their daily exercise. Even if authorities allowed this, they must not forget to practice the precautionary health measures. 

Security Officers monitoring the Streets

It is a good thing that the Interior Ministry continues to assess the effectivity and the situation of the use of permits. They already pinpointed the flaws of the implementation. With this, I hope that they can improve their system of curfew permit to avoid potential violators. Today marks the 41st day of the curfew and 9th day of the Ramadan.

The Public Advisory of the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait

 The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait released another public advisory regarding the mandatory quarantine and COVID-19 testing for the arriving passengers in the Philippines. It also includes the delays of travels beyond Metro Manila.  Therefore, the Embassy seeks to inform everyone all the Overseas Filipino Workers; all non-OFWs including returning tourists, returning emigrants, students and J-1 Visa holders, and foreign naturals who will arrive in the country. They are obliged to undergo mandatory 14-day quarantine and COVID-19 testing.

 The Bureau of Quarantine of the Department of Health is still finalizing the necessary mandatory quarantine and COVID-19 testing guidelines. The arriving passengers should also expect significant delays on their travels towards their destined provinces. The imposed enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila and other provinces caused limited transportation within the regions.

Due to the travel inconveniences brought by the coronavirus pandemic, the Embassy advises the public to delay any non-emergency or non-essential travel back to the Philippines.

As part of our celebration for Labor Day, the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait expressed their greetings to the Filipino medical professionals and non-professionals in Kuwait for their continuous fight against the coronavirus disease. Their valiant service to save lives cannot be repaid. The Embassy affirms that the Filipino community in the country is with you as we face the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Greetings for the Frontliners
Happy Labor day for the Pinoy Frontliners

Increasing Applicants of DOLE-AKAP Program

 In the Philippines, the Department of Health registered 284 new COVID-19 cases with 11 additional deaths and 41 recoveries. It brings to a total record of 8,772 cases with 579 fatalities and 1,084 recovered cases. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases increased.

Update of COVID-19 cases in Philippines on May 1, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte sent his greetings to all the Filipino workers whose hard work serves as the stepping-stone of the country’s growth and prosperity. For that, he wishes that every Filipino may rightfully enjoy the fruits of their labor as it will lead them to more productive and dignified lives.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s Message for the Labor Day

The Department of Foreign Affairs announced 30 new COVID-19 cases of the Overseas Filipinos, bringing the total record to 1,707 cases on this Labor Day. Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Eduardo Meñez said that, based on their data, an average of 43 new COVID-19 cases is reported daily for the past month. As of now, the overall tally of recoveries and death toll is 455 and 202, respectively. Currently, 1,050 Filipino patients abroad are undergoing treatment. The agency lauded the Filipino workers around the globe, especially the ones who are in the frontliners against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said that they received an estimated count of 35,000 applications of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who are currently in the country. These applications are the ones who availed the cash assistance of USD 200 or 10,000 pesos from the Department of Labor and Employment-Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (DOLE-AKAP) program.

OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac confirmed that they approved the applications close to 35,000, half of which are land-based OFWs, and the other half are sea-based OFWs. He assured the seafarers who said about their disadvantages on the program that the distribution is strictly fair. It is indeed, 50-50. 

The administration even planned to provide this aid to 50,000 OFWs, who are only 30 percent of the entire target beneficiaries. They will distribute the other 70 percent of the DOLE-AKAP fund to the overseas post. Currently, they approved 35,000 applicants as it approaches their total target, which is 50,000 OFWs.

I am very grateful to the Philippine government in providing financial assistance to our fellow OFWs. Especially working abroad will be temporarily stopped or suspended, and these OFWs are left with no choice but to find work locally until the commercial flights return. For this, I hope that the spread of COVID-19 disease will end soon so our Filipino workers can return to their jobs.

“At ang panalangin ng pananampalataya ay magliligtas sa may sakit, at ibabangon siya ng Panginoon; at kung nagkasala siya, ay ipatatawas sa kaniya.”

Santiago 5:15

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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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