CORONAVIRUS DIARIES Week #47: Kuwait’s Actions amidst Rising COVID-19 Cases

“To lose patience is to lose the battle.”

– Mahatma Gandhi –

 

Today marks the 334th day of our COVID-19 Pandemic journey. It’s our 47th week versus the COVID-19. We should be thankful that we are still here, continuously battling against the unseen enemy. Patience should be our virtue during our battle. After all, the ultimate ending is near because of the availability of a vaccine that is vital to our path towards normalcy.

With our battle against COVID-19, the Kuwaiti government is with battling with us. The government is working at its best to implement the best solutions for all without compromising its health and economy of the nation.

Moreover, to be able to craft the best solutions to be implemented, the Ministry of Health continuously monitors its COVID-19 cases and reports to the public regularly for transparency.

Update of COVID-19 Cases in Kuwait as of February 08, 2021

The photo was taken from: Instagram: Kuwait MOH

 

The Ministry of Health of Kuwait reported 996 new COVID-19 cases with 582 new recoveries and three additional death. This brings to a total record of 171,994 confirmed cases, As of 01 February 2021, there are now 8,905 active COVID-19 cases with 90 serious cases.

Compared to last week’s data, the total COVID-19 confirmed new cases significantly increased. Total active cases and serious cases significantly increased as well. This implies that there is an uptrend in COVID-19 cases in the state. Unfortunately, we’ve lost 3 comrades to the battle against COVID-19.

 

New Restrictions imposed by the Kuwait government

Closure of Restaurants

This photo was taken from: Ayman Mat News

With the recent uptrend of COVID-19 cases, the Kuwait government decided to close commercial malls, stores, restaurants, and cafes from 8 PM to 5 AM for one month. Moreover, barbershops, salons, gyms, and spas will be closed for one month. Meanwhile, supermarkets, jamiya, convenience stores or baqala, drugstores, and food deliveries from restaurants and cafes will remain open.

Filipino expatriates must be guided accordingly with the new restrictions to avoid inconvenience.

 

Store Closure

This photo was taken from: Ayman Mat News

In addition, the Kuwait government also released guidelines with regards to travel restrictions of foreigners entering Kuwait. Starting on 07 February, foreigners entering the State of Kuwait are restricted for two weeks in view of the COVID-19 case surge in the country. Moreover, mandatory 7-day hotel quarantine and 7-day home quarantine will be strictly implemented at travelers’ costs.

However, there are exemptions to the restrictions.

  1. First-degree family members of a Kuwaiti citizen
  2. Workers with Visa 20 (domestic workers) who took their flight by Belsalamah.
  3. Diplomats and their household workers
  4. Medical front-liners

 

To be guided further, you may refer to the infographic published by Philippine Embassy in Kuwait.

New Restrictions as of 07 February 2021

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

 

Filipino Domestic Workers Recruitment

Filipina Domestic Worker

This photo was taken from: Al Arabiya

 

The hiring of new Filipina maids will resume once the current issues were resolved. Chairman Al-Dakhnan of the Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Offices (KUDLO) and union members met with Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Lomondot and the labor attaché in Chairman Al-office Dakhnan‘s to address the recent developments in the resumption of domestic worker recruitment.

The Philippine Ambassador and labor attaché pledged to start new domestic worker recruitment as soon as the concerns of domestic workers currently staying at the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait are settled and the arrangements for their departure are finished.

Meanwhile, the Director-General of KUDLO revealed that they also tackled all the issues that are currently facing by Filipino domestic workers and local recruitment offices. KUDLO and Ambassador Lomondot stressed that they will work on resolving the matters with regards to the renewal of recruitment contracts between the local offices and counterparts in the Philippines.

 

Philippine Embassy in Kuwait’s Mobile Passport Extension-Only Service

To address the problems concerning passports, the Philippine Embassy held its Mobile Passport Service at Kuwait Disabled Sports Club in Hawally Area.

Public Advisory on Mobile Passport Extension

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

 

The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait provided Mobile Passport Extension-Only Services to fellow Filipinos who urgently needed to renew their visas in Kuwait. The Mobile Passport Extension-Only Services will operate from 8 AM onwards every Friday and Saturday of February 2021.

The Philippine Embassy of Kuwait issued few reminders to fellow Filipinos before going to the site.

  1. DO NOT APPLY for passport extension if you will travel outside Kuwait
  2. FILL OUT IN ADVANCE the Passport Extension Application Form
  3. Bring your original and photocopy of your current passport and Kuwait Civil ID
  4. Prepare an exact amount of KD6.500
  5. Wear face masks and practice physical distancing
  6. IF experiencing and of the COVID-19 symptoms, DO NOT APPLY for passport extension, STAY HOME, and SEEK medical help.
  7. DO NOT BUY from illegal street food vendors

 

“The Mobile Passport Extension-Only Service is the Embassy’s immediate solution to the passport and visa problems of our kababayan in Kuwait, especially those who at risk of paying immigration fines and losing their jobs due to the non-renewal of their visas,” Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Lomondot said.

Filipinos queued up for Mobile Passport Extension-Only Service

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

 

During the second weekend of the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait’s Mobile Passport Extension-Only Service at the Kuwait Disabled Sports Club Track and Field in the Hawally Area, more than 2,500 overseas Filipinos successfully extended their passport validity.

Filipinos waiting in line at Mobile Passport Extension-Only Service

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

A large number of Filipino expatriates flocked to the Kuwaiti Disabled Sports Club in Hawally Area this weekend to complete their consular transactions.

Due to closures during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Kuwait and embassy relocation, more than 15,000 people applied for passport renewals, according to Philippine Ambassador Lomondot.

The Filipino community has shown up in large numbers to renew their passports during these days to avoid paying penalties for violations. Ambassador Lomondot mentioned that the embassy’s consular team is operating at full capacity to meet everyone’s needs.

It is a relief for our fellow Filipinos to have their passport validity extended. This will help them to avoid inconveniences when they still hold expired passports. Mobile Passport Extension-Only Services provided Filipinos a safer, faster, and convenient facility to renew their passports. Now, they will have less worry about possible immigrations and fines, and deportation with regards to their passport validity.

 

POLO Kuwait Assistance Services

Aside from the availability of Mobile Passport Extension-Only Service, services from POLO Kuwait, OWWA, SSS, and Pag-IBIG were made available too. This means that the Mobile Passport Extension-Only serves as a one-stop-shop made for Filipino expatriates who need the services from these government agencies.

In fact, POLO Kuwait recently published Steps for their Contract Verification service for Balik-Manggagawa Workers. You may refer to the photo below:

Steps for Contract Verification of Balik Manggagawa Workers

This photo was taken from: Facebook: POLO Kuwait

 

Aside from that, the POLO Kuwait also issued a list of requirements need for the contract verification of Balik Manggagawa Workers.

Requirements for Contract Verification of Balik Manggagawa Workers

This photo was taken from: POLO Kuwait

 

Overall, Kuwait has a total tally of 171,994 COVID-19 cases. Meanwhile, the Philippines have 538,995 total COVID-19 cases with 27,992 total active cases. As of 08 February 2021, 4 PM, the Department of Health announced additional 1,690 newly-reported cases, 88.5% of them are mild COVID-19 cases. Both countries are working at their best to implement the best solutions to balance the health and the economy of the nation. It is our duty now, as an individual, to follow safety measures to avoid contracting the COVID-19 virus in these challenging times of resurgence.

 

Alarming Coronavirus Mutations

According to a recent report, the more infectious form of the coronavirus, which was first detected in Britain, is doubling in prevalence every 10 days. This means that the U.K. Coronavirus variant is more contagious compared to the prevailing coronavirus variant which originated from Wuhan, China.

With the recent mutations of the coronavirus variant, a lot of people are now asking if the vaccine will offer enough protection against the emerging U.K. coronavirus variant and South African variant. Health experts are now researching for that case.

AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 Vaccine Dose

This photo was taken from: The Bangkok Post

 

Meanwhile, in South Africa, it was devastating news to know that AstraZeneca’s clinical trial failed to show that the vaccine offered protection against mild or moderate illness caused by the South African variant. Almost 90% of the cases from South Africa were made up with mild or moderate COVID-19 cases.

As a result, the South African government has set the AstraZeneca vaccine on hold. Warehouses would be used to store the country’s vaccine supply.

The vaccine was only about 10% effective against the South African variant in a company trial of almost 2,000 people. In addition, the South African research revealed proof that people’s natural immunity from previous coronavirus infections did not protect them from mild or moderate infections from the South African Variant.

Despite the devastating news with regards to the coronavirus mutations and AstraZeneca’s inefficiency against the South African variant, some countries were able to start the inoculation of COVID-19 vaccines.

Hungary and Indonesia finally began the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine shots to their citizens. Hungary started to roll-out the Sputnik-V, a COVID-19 vaccine made in Russia this week. Meanwhile, Indonesia started vaccinating people aged 60 and older using Sinovac. Health officials from Indonesia concluded that the Sinovac, a Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccine, was safe to use among the age group of 60 and older.

 

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 #45: Kuwait approves AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine

CORONAVIRUS DIARIES: Week #46: COVID-19 Case Resurgence in Kuwait

 

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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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