CORONAVIRUS: KUWAIT OFW QUARANTINE DAY #76 – The Decision for Gradual Return

May 26, 2020

“I believe God let us stumble along, slowly finding our way and giving us chances to pick each other up.”

-Anna White-

The whole world suffered a lot due to the existence of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many countries managed to take control of this grim situation.

In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health reported 608 new COVID-19 cases with seven additional deaths and 685 recoveries. It brings to a total tally of 22,575 cases, with 172 deaths and 7,306 recovered cases. Within the new cases, 200 are Indian residents, 146 are Kuwait citizens, 78 are Egyptian residents, and 38 are Bangladeshi residents. In the governorates, there are 180 cases in Farwaniya, 175 in Ahmadi, 114 in Hawally, 78 in Capital, and 61 in Jahra. Among the residential areas, Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh is the highest with 49 COVID-19 cases. Currently, there are 15,092 active cases. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases decreased.

“Update of COVID-19 cases in Kuwait on May 26, 2020”

No Extension of Lockdown

The Kuwaiti government announced to the public that there would be no extension of the total lockdown as it ends this Saturday of May 30, 2020. They will replace it with partial curfew to give way to the residents and citizens a chance to return to regular life. They will specify the details of the implementation of partial curfew this coming Thursday. Despite the increasing number of cases in the country, the Ministry of Health confirmed that the virus outbreak is under control.

The Kuwaiti Cabinet entrusted the Ministry of Finance for the allocation of hotels as quarantine centers with their provision of full logistics services. They directed the Awqaf ministry to design a plan for the re-opening of the mosques with the observation of precautionary health requirements. The Civil Service Commission provided special financial increments for the frontliners in Interior and Health Ministries, especially those infected with COVID-19 during their service. Lastly, all companies must offer housing arrangements for their employees. For the workers affected with COVID-19, their respective companies will provide them with all their necessities for their treatment.

New Treatment Mechanism for Infected Medical Staff

The Ministry of Health adopted a new treatment mechanism on how to deal with medical staff infected with the virus. If a medical staff contracted the virus, he or she would undergo home quarantine measures. On the fifth day of their infection, the Health Ministry will conduct COVID-19 tests to them. The Ministry’s Undersecretary Dr. Mustafa Redha said that if they tested negative, the medical staff could get back to work with personal protective equipment. Lastly, the confirmed COVID-19 patients will undergo home quarantine. The healthcare specialists will test them on the 12th or 13th day. If they turn out negative, then they can get back to work on the 14th day.

“Treatment Mechanism for Infected Medics”

Unceasing Duty of our Frontliners

Moreover, I give my great thanks to our noble frontliners who valiantly serve the community. A posted video shows the security officials’ efforts in conducting stringent checkpoints and patrols in the streets during the full curfew implementation. The following video shows the healthcare staff in the medical centers conducting a dancing exercise with the patients.

I commend the decisions of conducting this merry routine to alleviate their worries and stimulating their bodies through physical exercise. It is better to cheer each other up during this time of trial. Today marks the 64th day of the curfew and 16th day of the total lockdown. I am relieved that the government decided not to extend the full curfew. It will be a great help for the citizens and residents to get back to work after the lockdown.

Balik Pilipinas, Balik Hanapbuhay’ Livelihood Program for OFWs

In the Philippines, the Department of Health reported 350 new COVID-19 cases with 13 additional deaths and 89 recoveries. It brings to a total tally of 14,669 cases with 886 fatalities and 3,412 recovered cases. Currently, there are 10,371 active cases. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases increased in the country. The department’s report today is quite alarming to the Filipino community. The sudden surge of cases is the highest one since April 6, 2020, and the top four among the newly recorded cases in a day.  

“Update of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines on May 26, 2020”

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported 18 new COVID-19 cases abroad with 16 recoveries and no additional fatalities. It brings to a total record of 2,635 cases, with 328 deaths and 905 recovered cases. There are currently 1,402 Overseas Filipinos undergoing treatment where 136 is in the Asia Pacific region, 539 in the Middle East/Africa, 457 in Europe, and 279 in the Americas.

Following up on the massive return of the Overseas Filipino Workers, President Rodrigo Duterte reminded the local government units (LGUs) that the national government can only impose travel restrictions. Therefore, he calls to the LGUs of all provinces to accept the returning OFWs.

For the local officials who remain with their travel restrictions, they could face criminal charges for their refusal to accept the OFWs who completed their facility-based 14-day mandatory quarantine. He said that it is a constitutional right for every person to go home. One must not be impeded or obstruct their way because the authorities can charge them criminally.

Moreover, he acknowledged the local officials protecting their constituents from the spread of the COVID-19 virus. However, President Duterte considered it cruel if they prevent the OFWs from returning home. Lastly, he affirmed that LGUs who want to impose new protocols in their provinces must ask permission to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID). On their arrival to their respective regions, the authorities require them to undergo another COVID-19 testing and facility-based quarantine.

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) announced the resumption of the operations of the livelihood program for distressed OFWs.  The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III directed the reoperations of OWWA’s Balik Pilipinas, Balik Hanapbuhay’ Livelihood Program. The program entails financial support for the OFWs-OWWA members, a maximum of 20,000 pesos as their Capital for their livelihood project. It will significantly help these Filipino workers, especially with the ongoing crisis of COVID-19

The decisions of both governments on the gradual return of normal life to the community is beneficial for the economy. Despite the ongoing crisis, the authorities managed to handle the situation, ensuring people’s safety. Through this gradual return, the economy of the country will begin to recover from the losses brought by the pandemic. I have great faith that we can ultimately return to how it used to be.  

“Pagkatapos, sinabi ni Jesus sa lalaki, I-unat niya ang kanyang kamay. Inuiunat nga ng lalaki ang kanyang kamay at ito’y gumaling gaya ng kabilang kamay.”

Mateo 12:13

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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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