June 9, 2020
“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”Steve Maraboli
As each of us faces the pandemic, the economic crisis starts to build up in the countries. Every citizen and resident struggles with the “No Work, No Pay” situation for each of us to continue to stay in our homes. However, for the ones who are renting their shelters, it is not an easy task to keep up with the payments, especially without financial assistance.
In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health registered 630 new COVID-19 cases with four additional deaths and 920 recoveries. It brings to a total record of 33,140 cases, with 273 fatalities and 22,162 recovered cases. Within the new cases, 271 are Kuwait citizens, 105 are Indian residents, 101 are Egyptian residents, and 57 are Bangladeshi residents. In the governorates, there are 207 cases in Al Ahmadi, 184 in Al Farwaniya, 100 in Hawally, 94 in Al Jahra, and 45 in the Capita. Among the residential areas, Farwaniya is the highest with a number of 59 cases. Currently, there are 10,705 active cases as it decreased from 10,999 cases. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of reported cases increased.
Updates of the Weekly Meeting of Kuwait Cabinet
The Kuwait Cabinet conducted their weekly meeting lead by His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled. It seeks to review the Kuwait government’s imposed measures and efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
First, the Council expressed their appreciation and gratitude to the people for their commitment to comply with the comprehensive ban procedures. The community also managed to review the reports of the concerned authorities about the current stage of the country’s plan to return the nation to normalcy.
Moreover, they urged people to comply with the recommended health precautionary measures such as social distancing and wearing masks. For this, everyone should cooperate as a single team to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. If it succeeds, then the nation can shift to the next stages of the five-phase plan.
The Council officially approved the Health Ministry’s request in establishing public health laboratories immediately at the Kuwait International Airport. It includes creating a clinic and a public health laboratory for the Preventive Health Unit. They also permitted the request in equipping the quarantine hotels. It will serve as institutional quarries for the patients who are recovering from their coronavirus infections.
I commend the Kuwait government for its regular assessment of the effectiveness of their imposed measures and plans to curb the spread of coronavirus disease. In this way, they will be able to pinpoint the areas that need more improvement to increase its efficiency. They do plan their every move cautiously.
COVID-19 Situation in the Country
As the mosques started to receive worshippers amid the COVID-19 crisis, the Kuwait authorities conducted disinfection within it. In Adailiya, a video shows workers disinfecting the mosque. They sprayed disinfectants in every corner of the building. For that, I thank these workers for cleaning the mosques. It will reassure the safety of the worshippers.
The authorities reported that 17 employees from the Bayan Cooperative Society tested positive for coronavirus disease. The cooperative societies in the country continue to be affected by coronavirus infections. I hope for their steadfast recovery.
MPs Proposing the Reduction of Rent Payment
The health crisis brought by COVID-19 started the “No Work, No Pay” situation to its citizens, especially to the expatriates who went to the country in search of work. However, it is relieving to know that 5 MPs officially proposed to the government to reduce the payment of rent by 60% for six months. These MPs are Ahmed al-Fadl, Nasser al-Dossari, Safa al-Hashem, Khaled al-Shatti, and Khalaf Dumither. Their proposed law about leasing during emergency conditions can be a great help to the community.
The proposed plan is composed of three articles. The second article states that the rent is reduced by 60% for the following six months. It is because of the emergency conditions that significantly affected the financial income of the citizens and residents.
If the Kuwait government approves this proposed plan, it will benefit all the citizens and residents living on rents. It is a good thing also to reduce their rents for the COVID-19 crisis brought this critical situation where work is not yet completely available. Therefore, the majority of the citizens and residents are still not working. Today marks the 77th day of the curfew and the 10th day of the government’s first-phase plan. During this pandemic, it is essential to understand the needs of other people to support each other.
Announcement of Philippine Embassy in Kuwait
The Philippine Embassy of Kuwait released a statement about passport applications and renewals during the new normalcy brought by the COVID-19 crisis. First, the Embassy would like to thank our fellow kababayans for stating their opinions and comments about the process of passport application and renewal. Because Kuwait is undergoing the “new normal” situation during the COVID-19 pandemic, it implemented new procedures for essential purposes.
About the online appointment system announced by their public advisory last May 30, 2020, the Embassy reminds the Filipino community about the limited number of applications in a single day. They appeal to the Filipinos for their understanding of the critical situation. Even if they officially resumed passport applications and renewals, the coronavirus disease threat ceases to exist. Therefore, it is necessary to control the number of applicants to ensure social distancing within them.
The applicants can only be accommodated outside the office. This procedure aims to reduce or eliminate the possible risks of contracting the disease inside the Embassy. Their working hours remain during Sundays to Thursdays from 7:00 am to 11:00 am. Within this period, compliance with the government’s advice is followed.
If one employee from the office contracted the disease, they would automatically close for 14 days. It is because all employees will be required to undergo mandatory quarantine, especially to those who had contact with the employee. In North America, one Philippine Consulate General suspended their operations within 14 days because one of their workers tested positive. However, the Embassy stresses that they do not want to suspend its services for another 14 days if ever one of their employees contracted the disease.
Lastly, the Embassy reassures the Filipino community in Kuwait that they are improving their processes and their capacity to accept more passport applicants with the best of their abilities.
The Embassy released another list of individuals who failed to claim their passports from its releasing date this February of 2020. If their names are within the list, they must come to the office to claim their new passport. They reminded the individuals that online appointment is not needed. Therefore, they can visit the Embassy immediately.
For further information about the list, you may visit the following link. https://www.facebook.com/PHinKuwait/posts/628884451036434
Chances of Shifting GCQ of NCR to MGCQ
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año affirmed that the shifting of the general community quarantine to the modified general community quarantine would depend on the current trend of COVID-19 cases in the region. He stated that it is still a 50-50 percent chance because the experts still need to look into the data further. Even if the number of cases increased, they could still manage it. The number of active cases is within the country’s limit for the hospitals to have enough capacity to accept COVID-19 patients.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) affirmed 12 new COVID-19 cases of the Overseas Filipinos worldwide, with nine additional deaths and 64 recoveries. It brings to a total record of 5,401 cases, with 380 deaths and 2,295 recovered cases. Moreover, the agency announces the existence of discrepancies within their figures. It is because of the corrected “double entries” from the countries of the Middle East. It is to correct the previously reported overall tally of 5,405 cases.
I express my thanks to the Philippine government for their continuous efforts in curbing the spread of COVID-19 disease. I will continue to pray for the healing of my homeland and the rest of the countries affected by the pandemic.
“O Dios, kaawaan nʼyo kami at pagpalain. Ipakita nʼyo sa amin ang inyong kabutihan, upang malaman ng lahat ng bansa ang inyong mga pamamaraan at pagliligtas.”Salmo 67:1-2 ASND
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