CORONAVIRUS DIARIES Week #43: Easing COVID-19 Restrictions

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you know have was once among the things you only hoped for.”

-Epicurus-

 

Today marks the 306th day of our COVID-19 Pandemic journey. As we welcome the second week of the year, we welcome some easing restrictions amidst COVID-19. Even restrictions are easing; we should not be complacent as if the virus is gone.

The COVID-19 Pandemic taught us to endure all hardships. I hope that we all continue to hope that everything will be fine at its perfect timing. Our path towards normalcy is here as the vaccine is now available. Let us continue to hope that the pandemic will end soon.

The COVID-19 Pandemic is not yet ended. Kuwait’s Ministry of Health is continuously monitoring developments on their COVID-19 case bulletin. The Ministry of Health devotes time to regularly reviewing data to formulate policies that the general public can use to ensure their safety. Kuwait’s Health Ministry is keeping a close eye on its COVID-19 cases bulletin and reports to the public to ensure accountability and transparency.

Update of COVID-19 Cases in Kuwait as of January 11, 2021

The photo was taken from: Instagram: Kuwait MOH

 

The Kuwait Ministry of Health (MoH) announced five hundred and twenty-seven (527) new cases. This brings to the total of 154,841 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The MoH also reported 2 new COVID-19 fatalities bringing to a total of 945 deaths. However, The MoH positively reported that there are 366 new recoveries from COVID-19. This brings to a total of 149,373 COVID-19 recoveries. As of today’s date, there are 4,523 total active cases in the country and, still hopeful that they will survive their battle to COVID-19.

 

Highlights of Kuwait Cabinet Weekly Meeting

Kuwait Cabinet held its weekly meeting

This photo was taken from: Kuwait OFW

 

On 11 January 2021, the Kuwait Council of Ministers decided on the following that will take effect on 17 January 2021:

  1. Enabling the entry of new domestic workers through the Belsalamah platform within the parameters of the domestic worker return plan, thus conforming to the plan’s regulations and guidelines.
  2. Requiring all travelers to the State of Kuwait to carry a PCR certification proving a negative result for the COVID-19 disease before entering Kuwait for not more than 72 hours (from the date of the examination and not from the date of issuance of the result).
  3. Charging airlines for the expense of performing two PCR tests for all arrivals to the country upon entry and during the quarantine period.

 

Hiring of domestic staffs will start on 17 January

Filipina Domestic Worker

This photo was taken from: The Guardian

 

As an OFW based in Kuwait, I see a silver lining when the Kuwait government decided to resume the recruitment of domestic workers from the Philippines. Hope is what we are holding onto at these trying times.

The hiring of new domestic workers will begin on January 17th, with Kuwaiti citizens applying to domestic labor companies to obtain visas for domestic workers through the Interior Ministry, as the Council of Ministers has approved the recruitment.

Five nationalities will be permitted to enter to bring in only domestic workers via direct flights from the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh, as per the committee’s approval to resume commercial flights to Kuwait International Airport.

The requirements for domestic workers differ from country to country; the Philippines‘ process is the most complex, with domestic workers usually expecting to complete government procedures in 2 to 3 months.

To travel to Kuwait by sponsor and book airline tickets, institutional quarantine, and make required payments, new or returning domestic staff must register on the Belsalamah mobile app.

 

BelSalamah Platform

BelSalamah Platform

This photo was taken from: Facebook: BelSalamah

 

Because of the recent decision on resumption of the recruitment of domestic workers, the Ministry of Interior launched BelSalamah mobile platform to facilitated their return. BelSalamah platform was designed to facilitate the return of domestic workers coming from the “high-risk” countries category.

Each worker listed under Article 20 of the residency law, which extended to domestic workers, costs KD270 to travel. The cost includes 14-day quarantine, meals, security, and three PCR tests, all according to health standards. Since the ticket prices vary depending on the destination, they are not included in the return package.

Domestic workers passengers must have a certificate from a laboratory approved by their countries confirming that they are negative from coronavirus. The passengers will be subjected to another PCR tests.

If the results of the tests are negative, domestic workers will be transported to designated locations for a 14-day quarantine period. The workers will undergo a third PCR test by the end of the 14-day quarantine, and if the tests are negative, they will be allowed to go to their sponsors’ homes. Those that have positive results will be moved to another quarantine facility by the Ministry of Health.

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Doses

Syringe and a dose of Vaccine

This photo was taken from: Pharmaceutical Technology

 

In Kuwait, the total of individuals who have received their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine has reached 20,000. Since the online platform was launched, approximately 250,000 individuals have registered for vaccinations.

Citizens and expatriates were advised to register for vaccinations by the Ministry of Health. Vaccinated persons in Kuwait will receive an electronic vaccination certificate that will be tested for validity at international airports, similar to an “immunity passport.”

Along with the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, the Kuwaiti officials were among those who first received the dose. In fact, on 14 January, some Kuwaiti officials get vaccinated for the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Kuwait’s Prime Minister, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah got vaccinated against COVID-19

This photo was taken from: Kuwait News Agency

 

Kuwait’s Prime Minister, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah received the second shot of the COVID-19 vaccine on 14 January at Kuwait Vaccination Center at Mishref Area as part of the state’s vaccination program.

The recent vaccination to the Prime Minister affirms that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe. In lieu of that, the Kuwaiti government urges the general public to register and get vaccinated against COVID-19 so that herd immunity can be achieved as soon as possible.

 

Philippine Embassy in Kuwait Closure

The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait regrets to inform the Filipino public that the Philippine Embassy office in Al-Siddeeq Area is now closed. However, the embassy was able to secure a temporary office at the Sabah Al-Salem Area by February 2021.

This photo was taken from: Facebook: Philippine Embassy in Kuwait

 

Overall, Kuwait has a total tally of 154,841 COVID-19 cases, while the Philippines have 489,736 cases, nearing its 500,000-mark. As of 4 PM of 11 January, the Department of Health reported 2,052 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases with 10 new recoveries and 11 new fatalities. The total active COVID-19 cases in the country climb to 22,114 with 84.3% mild cases.

Both countries are adhering to and enforcing health protocols to prevent each one of its citizens and residents to contract COVID-19. The situation at today’s time will be our new normal of living. Health protocols imposed will be our new normal. The COVID-19 Pandemic taught each one of us to remain hopeful that these shall pass too.

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Development

With the limited availability of COVID-19 vaccines in the world, we are fortunate that Kuwait is among the first countries who secured a supply of the vaccines. Despite the COVID-19 resurgences in China, Britain, and United States, they are mainly relying upon the safety that the vaccine will offer.

President-elect Joe Biden received his second Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose

This photo was taken from: Al Jazeera

 

In fact, President-elect Joe Biden received his second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to increase the vaccine confidence of the public. Despite the skepticism that others have against the vaccine efficacy, key officials such as President Biden urged the public to get vaccinated.

Moreover, Indonesia is now among those countries that issued an emergency use authorization for Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Let us all remain hopeful that the pandemic will end soon. As well as, let us continue to adhere to health and safety protocol for our sake.

 

MUST-READ AND SHARE!

My Trusted Page of References for COVID-19 Diaries

The Primary Purpose of my COVID-19 Diaries

CORONAVIRUS: Kuwait OFW Quarantine Diaries – TABLE OF CONTENTS

CORONAVIRUS DIARIES: Week #41

CORONAVIRUS DIARIES: Week #42: PCR Test are now required

 

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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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