MAY 27, 2020
“In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.”-Dave Hollis-
Many countries decided to end the implementation of total lockdown to pave the way for the nation’s recovery. Despite the continuous increase of COVID-19 cases, they call for a systematic plan to guide the country for a gradual return to the regular days.
In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health reported 692 new COVID-19 cases with three additional deaths and 640 recoveries. It brings to a total record of 23,267 cases with 175 fatalities and 7,946 recovered cases.
It brings to a total record of 23,267 cases with 175 fatalities and 7,946 recovered cases. Within the new cases, 178 are Kuwait citizens, 165 are Indian residents, 95 are Bangladeshi residents, and 94 are Egyptian residents. In the governorates, there are 197 in Farwaniya, 191 in Ahmadi, 146 in Jahra, 86 in Hawally, and 72 in the Capital.
Among the residential areas, Farwaniya is the highest with 58 cases. Compared to yesterday, the new number of cases increased.
Planning the Return to Normalcy
As the government decided to end the full curfew on May 31, 2020, the Parliament conducted discussions on their plans of returning normalcy. The Speaker of the National Assembly Marzouq Al-Ghanim led the meeting with the presence of six cabinet ministers, 32 MPs and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled. Through this meeting, they could plan the necessary preparations and procedures after the total lockdown.
Violations During the Curfew
The Ministry of Interior reported 19 people who violated the implemented curfew in the community. Five of them came from the capital, two from Hawally, seven from Farwaniya, one from Jahra, two from Mubarak Al-Kabeer, and two from the Al-Ahmadi governorate. Overall, there are 13 Kuwait citizens and six expatriates. It can be disappointing to receive news about people violating the full curfew of the country. Three days more and the total lockdown will end. They should somehow respect and follow the implemented law even if just for a short time.
Food Distribution for the People
The authorities conducted another food distribution in Maidan Hawally. The video shows that they are observing physical distancing as they fall in line for their food package. Their queues are a couple of meters apart, which is very important to maintain distance from one another.
Situation During Walking Period
There are photos and videos online of people starting to wander from their homes during the walking period. In Farwaniya and Jleeb, more people are walking on the streets without the fear of contracting the virus. At the same time, citizens and residents flocked to the seaside of the country.
Today marks the 65th day of the curfew and 17th day of the total lockdown. Even if the government decided to end the total lockdown, it is still not safe to go outside of their homes. The number of COVID-19 cases continues in the country. The authorities and our frontliners worked devotedly to curb the spread of the virus. With these situations, a second wave may be possible. Therefore, we must still stay home for their efforts to be not in vain.
GCQ at the Month of June
In the Philippines, the Department of Health reported 380 new COVID-19 cases with 18 additional deaths and 94 recoveries. It brings to a total tally of 15,049 cases, with 904 deaths and 3,506 recovered cases. Currently, there are 10,639 active cases. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases increased. It is now the highest newly reported case in a day since April 6, 2020.
Despite the high number of reported cases today, Malacañang affirmed the possibility of lifting the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) to general community quarantine (GCQ) at the start of June. In a meeting conducted last Tuesday, the 17 mayors of Metro Manila agreed to recommend placing the metropolis under GCQ.
They will send the recommendation to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID). The implementation of ECQ in Mandaue and Cebu cities, MECQ in Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Zambales, Laguna and Metro Manila, and GCQ for the rest of the provinces would reach its end on May 31.
The majority of the mayors who sought the shift to GCQ stressed the importance of recovering the industrial economy in coping with the COVID-19 crisis. However, Interior Secretary Eduard Ano said that President Rodrigo R. Duterte would have to give its final decision concerning the recommendation.
Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac announced that 7,500 Overseas Filipino Workers managed to return to their respective provinces under the OFW Return Program. He further said that they are on the third day out of the seven days directed by President Rodrigo Duterte. They hoped that the number would increase, as they look forward to more buses, sea transport, and airline flights. It is a great help for the displaced OFWs who were waiting for over a month.
Meanwhile, the OWWA chief affirmed that the OWWA Balik Pilipinas, Balik Hanapbuhay Livelihood Program accumulated an overall budget of 700 million pesos. They allocate it for the reintegration program and send financial assistance to the first round of 50,000 beneficiaries. The application for the livelihood program will start next week. From that, they will receive requests of returning OFWs in the local government units of their respective provinces.
The Department of Foreign Affairs reported 29 new COVID-19 cases with six fatalities and 25 recoveries. It brings to a total record of 2,664 Filipino cases abroad with 334 deaths and 930 recovered cases. The department said that they would actively monitor the health conditions of the Filipino community abroad and arrange safe repatriations for them to come home.
I understand the need for both countries to return to normalcy in order to protect their respective economy. However, as long as the proper vaccine is still not given, then it can be dangerous to lift immediately up the strict health measures to the community.
I give my greatest thanks to the authorities of both governments for conducting meetings and discussions to organize a plan for their gradual return. Through this, they will be able to pinpoint the advantages and possible problems that they may encounter with the pandemic including the fear of a second wave. Hence, I have faith that we can return to our usual lives soon.
“Ang Panginoon ay katulad ng toreng matibay, kanlungan ng mga matuwid sa oras ng panganib.” Kawikaan 18:10
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