CORONAVIRUS: KUWAIT OFW QUARANTINE DAY #74 – The Country’s Contribution to Clinical Trials

May 24, 2020

“This spinning wheel means national consciousness and a contribution by every individual to a definite constructive national work.”

Mahatma Gandhi

The world took its initial steps in eliminating the threat of COVID-19 disease. As researchers and scientists race to the discovery of a vaccine, countries around the world chose to participate in accelerating the works of these medical inventors.

In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health reported 838 new COVID-19 cases with eight additional deaths and 370 recoveries. It brings to a total record of 21,302 cases with 156 fatalities and 6,117 recovered cases. Within the new cases, 260 are Indian residents, 134 are Kuwait citizens, 125 are Egyptian residents, and 86 are Bangladeshi residents. In the governorates, there are 355 cases in Farwaniya, 176 in Ahmadi, 120 in Hawally, 96 in Jahra, and 91 in the Capital. Among the residential areas, Farwaniya is still the highest with a number of 124 cases. Presently, there are 15,029 active cases in the country. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases decreased.

“Update of COVID-19 cases in Kuwait on May 24, 2020”

Participating the COVID-19 Clinical Trials

The Health Ministry Assistant Undersecretary for Drug and Food Control Affairs, Dr. Abdullah Al-Bader, announced Kuwait’s participation in the World Health Organization “Solidarity” COVID-19 clinical trial. This WHO’s initiative intends to compare the effectiveness of four treatment options to COVID-19 patients with the usual level of hospital care. They will research the potency of these drugs such as the Remdesivir, Lopinavir-Rotinavir, Lopinavir-Rotinavir in conjunction with interferon beta-1a and hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine. Al-Bader stressed that they aim to reach quick results between these drugs in slowing the infection’s progression or improving the patient’s condition.

By the recommended guidelines of the World Health Organization, the research needs to accumulate a large amount of medical data that will contribute to the determination of the drug’s safety and effectivity under stable conditions. The data will also include careful medical supervision and identification of the possible adverse effects on the patients. This decision of the authorities came up because of the sound relationship between WHO and the health ministry with the direction of Health Minister Sheikh Dr. Basel Al-Sabah and the instructions of the Undersecretary Dr. Mustafa Redha. Moreover, the solidarity plan is a global clinical trial involving 90 countries to determine safe and effective treatment against COVID-19 disease.

I admire the immediate participation of the country in the clinical trials by the World Health Organization. The involvement of the countries to this research will boost the world’s exploration in discovering the most effective vaccine and treatment for this pandemic. The researchers will need to test the subjects to examine the efficacy of these drugs.

Visitation from the Authorities

During the celebration of Eid Holiday, the Health Minister visited the hospitals in the country. It is good to know that the Health Minister himself inspected these hospitals to ensure the smooth flow of its operations.

“Health Ministers visiting Hospitals”

In addition to that, the Director-General of Kuwait’s Fire Service Directorate (KFSD) Lieutenant General Khaled Al-Mekrad inspected the squads assigned in the quarantine areas of Al-Ardiya district and another one in Al-Zor located approximately 100 km south of the Capital. He extended Eid Al-Fitr greetings to the squads from Deputy Prime Minister, Interior Minister, and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh. The minister lauded their sacrifices and efforts in serving the people under quarantine.

“Inspection of Fire Brigade Chief”

Moreover, the Ministry of Interior arrested four Kuwait nationals and four expatriates for their violation against the curfew. I am quite disappointed with these people, for they still managed to disobey the law even if the authorities implemented the curfew for two months already.

Situation of the Expatriates

The authorities announced to the expatriates that an application for a 3-month extension is available. They will allow the expatriates whose residence permit expired and cannot renew their residency due to the implementation of the total lockdown. The expatriates can request for an extension through this online link. https://eres.moi.gov.kw/individual/en/auth/login

Gratefully, 174 Thailand expatriates returned home due to the efforts of the Embassy of Thailand in Kuwait with the coordination of the Kuwaiti authorities. Most of them are working in Hyundai Construction, while others worked in contracting companies. Due to the implemented curfew in Kuwait, their respective companies closed, leaving them to the “No Work, No Pay” situation. Within the expatriates, three were residence violators who took the amnesty arranged by the Kuwait government. Their flight left today at 10:00 am.

“Thailand citizens leaving the Airport”

Greetings from President Duterte

The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait posted President Rodrigo Duterte for the celebration of Eid’ l Fitr. He affirmed that as our Muslim brothers celebrate the Breaking of the Fast, they may attain the clarity of thought and wisdom that they have learned to inspire them to be living examples of what is best in the Islamic faith. Likewise, President Duterte’s hope that their prayer time has nourished their inner strength and fortitude to stay true to the inherent goodness of humanity as we shun the evils that permeate our society.  

“President Duterte’s Message for Eid’ l Fitr”

Today marks the 62nd day of the curfew, 30th day of the Ramadan, and 14th day of the total lockdown. I admire the immediate participation of the country in the clinical trials by the World Health Organization. The involvement of the countries to this research will boost the world’s exploration in discovering the most effective vaccine and treatment for this pandemic. The researchers will need to test subjects to examine the efficacy of these drugs.

Philippine’s Participation to COVID-19 trials

In the Philippines, the Department of Health announced 258 new COVID-19 cases with five additional deaths and 72 recoveries. It brings to a total record of 14,035 cases with 868 fatalities and 3,248 recovered cases. Within the new cases, 195 of them came from the National Capital Region, 12 came from the repatriates, and 51 came from the rest of the country’s provinces. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases decreased. It is disheartening to know, for I did not expect the daily rate of cases to reach 200 again.

“Update of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines on May 24, 2020”

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced that one additional Filipino abroad contracted the COVID-19 disease. It brings to a total tally of 2,524 cases of Filipino infected with the virus overseas. They reported one recovery with three other fatalities documented in the Middle East and Europe. Nonetheless, they reported no new cases in the Americas, Asia, and the Pacific. The total record of recovered cases is 879, while the death toll is 294. At this time, there is 1,350 Filipino undergoing medical treatment.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque affirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte showed his optimism that the candidates of COVID-19 vaccines are showing early promising results. Therefore, Malacanang expects the country to join the clinical trials of the vaccine this coming last quarter of 2020. Roque further added that the President wants to save every Filipino’s life, which places his interest in joining these clinical trials.

Recently, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) nods its approval to the Resolution No. 39 signed last May 22, 2020. It states the planned participation of the country in the clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine. With this, the country’s hope of getting a vaccine is getting closer.

On the other hand, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire emphasized that the virus is still not gone when the country lifted the implementation of enhanced community quarantine. As the authorities eased these stringent measures, many shoppers flocked into the malls. Hence, Vergeire stressed the significance of maintaining the minimum health standards in these public spaces.

In addition to that, the Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary Ruth Castelo presented the department’s guidelines stating the precautionary measures that the shopping mall operators need to maintain. It includes limiting the number of consumers inside the malls, reducing the available open entrances, limiting elevator access to senior citizens, creating one-way flows inside the premises, suspension of marketing events and sale promos, and the designation of a large area intended for pick-up services for stores

As the World Health Organization takes the initiative in conducting clinical trials, both countries agreed to participate as their contribution to the development of treatment and vaccines. I thank the authorities’ unceasing efforts not just in preventing the spread of the virus but also the discovery of its cure and immunity against it. With the cooperation between these nations, I believe that someday, every individual will gain immunity from the virus.

“Gawin ninyo sa inyong kapwa ang nais ninyong gawin nila sa inyo. Ito ang buod ng kautusan at ng mga isinulat ng mga propeta.”

Mateo 1:12

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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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