CORONAVIRUS DIARIES: DAY #100 – Extension of the First Phase Plan

CORONAVIRUS DIARIES: DAY #100 – Extension of the First Phase Plan

June 19, 2020

“At the end of the day, the goals are simple: SAFETY and SECURITY.”

Jodi Rell

Every government exercises caution in implementing their plans for their beloved country. As the local transmission of the COVID-19 disease continues, we remain at high risks if we chose not to comply with the imposed guidelines of the authorities. The scheduled date of the first phase is nearing its end. However, the Kuwait government came up with a final decision to further protect the community from the coronavirus pandemic.

In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health recorded 604 new COVID-19 cases with five additional deaths and 678 recoveries. It brings to a total tally of 38,678 cases with 313 fatalities and 30,190 recovered cases. Within the new cases, 313 are Kuwait citizens composing 51.82 percent, while 291 are residents of various nationalities consisting of 48.18 percent of the total count. In the governorates, there are 168 cases in Al Farwaniya, 166 in Al Ahmadi, 136 in Al Jahra, 93 in Hawally, and 41 in the Capital. Among the residential areas, Taymaa is the highest with 32 cases.

Currently, there are 8,175 active cases as it decreased from 8,254 from the previous report. Compared to yesterday, the new number of cases increased. 

Update of COVID-19 cases in Kuwait on June 19, 2020

Kuwait Government’s Decision about its Implemented First Phase

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to threaten the country of Kuwait, its valiant government conducted a meeting for their assessment and improvements in their imposed guidelines. They decided to ease the implemented restrictions on Sunday of June 21, 2020. However, they would prohibit the return of the public sector’s workers in their work next week.

 Because the number of coronavirus infections in the country is still high, they declared the extension of Phase 1 in the five-phased plan of its gradual return to normalcy. Most of these COVID-19 cases came among the Kuwait citizens, according to Government Spokesperson, Tareq Al-Mezrem. He affirmed that the Health Ministry would further assess the coronavirus situation and discuss their results to the cabinet next week. The Kuwait cabinet also assigned the ministers to provide the necessary services for the community,

About the changes in the curfew hours, the Kuwait government revised the implemented curfew time. The curfew will start from 7:00 pm to 5:00 beginning on June 21, 2020.  For the isolated areas, the implemented lockdown in Hawally, Maidan Hawally, Nuqra, and selected blocks in Khaitan is lifted.

 The government will be allowing limited air travel for Kuwait citizens with critical health conditions. However, they must travel with their medical expenses. For the students who have scheduled examinations, they are allowed to go to their specific destinations. It will also include those citizens who have a foreign husband or wife abroad, but their trip is limited to a minimum of 30 days.

 Furthermore, the arriving passengers in the country shall provide an Arab Copy Certificate. The certificate should entail the valid details that he or she took a PCR test four days before their trip. It will serve as proof that they are free from coronavirus infection. 

Reasons for the First Phase Extension

 As the government decided the extension of the first phase, the Kuwait Minister of Health Sheikh Dr. Basel Al-Sabah affirmed that the significant rise of COVID-19 cases among the Kuwait citizens is due to their non-compliance of the implemented guidelines. Therefore, it leads the Kuwait government to extend the first phase. He said that the country is supposed to move to the second phase as it gradually returns the situation to normalcy. However, they discovered the significant rise of coronavirus infections in the community.

 Even if many parents did not leave their homes, they still contracted the disease. It is because some of them went to family gatherings and intensive care units. Many people also failed to comply with the prevention of family gatherings, physical distancing, and the practice of hygienic rules. 

 Currently, 145 buildings in Hawally, Maidan Hawally, Nugra, and Khaitan are under quarantine protocols in hopes of containing the transmission of the virus. He warned the community that they do not want to get the outbreak out of control.  He emphasized that the Kuwait authorities are capable of controlling the pandemic. Therefore, we should not let the pandemic control us. Shifting to the second phase of the government’s plan requires stringent compliance of the citizens and residents with the health precautions. 

Minister of Health Sheikh Dr. Basel Al-Sabah

Distribution of Kuwait Red Crescent Society

For the following days, the Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) has been distributing food supplies to the different regions in Kuwait, especially the ones imposed with the isolation protocol. With the cooperation of the Ministry of Interior, they handed out 1,000 milk cartons and 1,000 food parcels for the citizens and residents in Hawally.

Since the first outbreak of coronavirus in the country, they devoted themselves to offer assistance to all the needy and underprivileged families. They want to help the community as much as possible. According to the Secretary-General Maha Al-Barjas, the society aims to provide support to the isolated areas like Sabah Al-Salem and Sabhan.

Their provision of food to the individuals is enough for a single month. However, their efforts will not be successful without the kindness and generosity of their specific donors who helped in financing these food supplies.

Distribution of KRCS in Hawally

The COVID-19 Situation in Kuwait

 The Kuwait Banking Association announced to the customers of their new schedule on this Sunday of June 21, 2020. They will only receive customers from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm as they will continue to provide banking services to the community as well as their electronic services. Their continuous service will benefit the community in accessing their financial needs and providing remittances for their families in their home country.

 The Civil Aviation of Kuwait reported that there is still no specified date for the official return of commercial flights at the Kuwait International Airport. I doubt that they will reopen the commercial flights within the month due to the high rise of coronavirus infections in the country.

The Kuwait Cybercrime authorities reported a fake website of the Ministry of Interior. They appealed to the community to be aware and only follow the official website of the Interior Ministry. I am very disappointed with the people who managed to establish this fake website.

Fake Website of the Interior Ministry

In this time of the pandemic, it is our duty to deliver accurate and credible information to the citizens. The ones who established this website are irresponsible and should face the charges that the Interior Ministry may impose on them. I hope they can locate the specific individuals who are responsible for it.

 The team of Kuwait’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) seized a total of 4,000 cartons of gloves. All of these were stored in Hawally. It is a good thing that they investigated and discovered this storage. It would be a great help to the community if they provided for everyone to use instead of being stored within the rooms. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBlrOUoDmyt/?utm_source=ig_embed

 The authorities reported that seven employees from the Al-Naseem Cooperative Society, unfortunately, tested positive for coronavirus infection. It leads to the closure of all branches of the Cooperative for Friday and Saturday. In the Shamiya and Shuwaik Cooperative Branch  Block Eight, one of their employees also contracted the disease. The branch was also closed for sterilization within the establishment.

Al-Naseem Cooperative Society of Kuwait

 The infection of the cooperative employees in the country continues. Maybe it is because many people failed to comply with the implemented guidelines as they visit these establishments. According to the Kuwait Minister of Health, stringent compliance with the guidelines is our only hope in surviving this health crisis. As long as the Kuwait government had the pandemic under control, let us not lose our expectations that we can soon return to normalcy. 

Today marks the 20th day of the first phase implemented by the government. I am grateful for all the taken measures of the Kuwait government in controlling the pandemic. I pray that all citizens and residents would learn that we should follow the authorities’ preventive instructions. 

Opening of Online Appointment Slots by the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait

 The Philippine Embassy of Kuwait announced the opening of online appointment slots at 9:00 pm from June 21 to June 25, 2020. The Embassy still did not open appointment slots for the remaining days until July. They limited the opening of slots for the safety of the applicants from the transmission of coronavirus disease in the country. 

 The Embassy advised for those individuals who can get their online appointment to fill up early their Passport Application Form before going to the specified date and time for their confirmed appointment. They must bring the filled form and the details of their confirmation through email.

They may download the following Passport Application Forms by clicking the links below.

New Appointment Slots from Philippine Embassy in Kuwait

Commemorating Our National Hero’s Birth Amidst the Pandemic

Update of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines on June 19, 2020

 The Department of Foreign Affairs announced 37 new COVID-19 cases of Overseas Filipinos abroad with 11 further fatalities and six recoveries. It brings to a total record of 6,128 cases, with 483 deaths and 2,849 recovered cases. Currently, 2,796 Filipinos are receiving medical treatment worldwide, where 2,022 is from the Middle East/Africa, 538 is from Europe, 158 is from the Americas, and 78 is from the Asia-Pacific region.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Philippine nation commemorated the 159th birth anniversary of our inspiring hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. The Malacañang appeals to all the Filipinos to emulate the vital characteristic of our national hero and be an “agent of genuine transformation”. As of now, our modern-day heroes are composed of our beloved frontliners from different fields who are working day and night to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease. This group of people made the ultimate sacrifice to save its mother nation. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque called our courageous frontliners as modern-day heroes as they serve as the beacons of hope in these times of trial.

 The Philippine government proudly reported that about 53,000 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) returned home to their families in their respective provinces through their repatriation programs. Labor Silvestre Bello III vowed to all repatriated OFWs that they would be transported to their individual homes within five days from their arrival in the country. Through their fast-tracked system, they can spend an average of 200 to 300 OFWs daily. As they upgrade their system, this average number will continue to increase as they are transferred via air, land, and sea.  

I commend the works of the Philippine government and dedicate Filipino frontliners in controlling the coronavirus situation of the country. Like our past heroes, they are a model of integrity and heroism within our hearts.

“Ang liwanag ng turo mo’y nagsisilbing isang tanglaw, nagbibigay dunong ito sa wala pang karanasan.”

Awit 119:130

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