June 12, 2020
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.”Martin Luther King, Jr.
The coronavirus pandemic took our freedom as it propagates around the world. We cannot easily venture outside of our homes due to its ongoing threat. As the Filipino community celebrates its Independence today, we remain strong that someday we can be free from the COVID-19 disease.
In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health registered 520 new COVID-19 cases with six additional deaths and 911 recoveries. It brings to a total record of 32,952 cases, with 285 fatalities and 25,048 recovered cases. Within the new cases, 232 are Kuwait citizens, 86 are Indian residents, 53 are Bangladeshi residents, and 39 are Egyptian residents. In the governorates, there are 165 cases in Al Farwaniya, 119 in Al Jahra, 105 in Al Ahmadi, 78 in Hawally, and 53 in the Capital. Among the residential areas, Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh is the highest with 44 cases. Currently, 9,619 patients are undergoing treatment as the number decreased from 10,016 cases in the previous report. Compared to yesterday’s news, a new number of cases decreased.
Food Distribution for the People
The authorities continue their food distribution to various areas in the country. A video shows the authorities giving food supply to the citizens and residents in Jleeb Al-Shoyoukh. Within the streets, the people are rushing by to receive their share of packages during the coronavirus pandemic. However, many people ignored the importance of social distancing while receiving their package.
Although I am glad and thankful to the authorities that they continue to provide foodstuff for the community, I am also disappointed that the people ignored the precautionary health measures. In the night, the police also distributed food to the Farwaniya Block Four, as shown in the video below.
Conducting the First Friday Noon Sermon and Prayer
Finally, our Muslim brothers performed their first Friday noon sermon and prayer at the Grand Mosque of Kuwait city. After three long months of its closure, they performed their prayer and sermons again. However, only the mosques’ preacher and staff personally attended the prayer. The community participated in the event through the TV broadcasted by the official Kuwait TV. It is according to the statement of the Awqaf Ministry that the mosques will not open its doors for the Friday prayer. It urged the worshippers to perform their prayers in their respective homes to avoid public contact.
I commend the Kuwait government’s efforts to effectively implement the necessary guidelines in conducting sermons and prayer for our Muslim brothers. Although they cannot attend the religious ceremonies personally, they can perform the same service at their homes. Through this, they can strengthen their faith and hope that someday we can end the coronavirus pandemic threats.
Today marks the 12th day of the government’s first-phase plan. I will always thank the Kuwait authorities and the country’s frontliners for their unceasing courage to battle the COVID-19 virus. I hope nothing but good health and safety for all.
Celebrating Philippine’s Independence Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Department of Health announced 21 new COVID-19 cases of Overseas Filipinos with five additional deaths and three recoveries. It brings to a total tally of 5,490 cases with 395 fatalities and 2,369 recovered cases. Currently, 2,726 Filipinos are undergoing treatment abroad; 107 are in the Asia Pacific, 1,873 are in the Middle East/Africa, 481 are in Europe, and 265 are in the Americas.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) affirmed that they would facilitate the return of displaced Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and give them counseling and helpline services to assist them at any time. DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that facilitating their return is their primary job. The second job is to help them, especially those who are still on board cruise ships with helpline services.
Due to the unfortunate death of our fellow Filipino Seafarer Mariah Jocson, the Department puts its focus on giving the OFWs emotional support as they wait for their repatriation. The DOLE Secretary noted that the circumstances of her untimely passing should remind the authorities for greater awareness and advocacies on the OFWs’ psychosocial needs and mental wellness. He also extended his condolences to the bereaved family of Mariah Jocson.
To prevent further cases about it, the DOLE urged the OFWs who need counseling to reach the OWWA Hotline 1348. They also have referral systems for the following mental wellness helplines.
- Bofill Psychological Services – 09238447755/ FB: BPS Psychological Services.
- HOPELINE Philippines – 09188734673/ 09175584673
- Konsulta MD – 79880 (Globe TM)/ 0277988000 (non-Globe/TM)
- National Center for Mental Health – 09178998727/ 029898727
- Philippine Red Cross – Hotline 1158
- Ugat Foundation – 0283700239/ FB: contactUGATsandaline
On the brighter side, the Philippines celebrated its 122nd Independence Day rites at the Rizal Park in Manila. President Rodrigo Duterte taped a video message for all the Filipinos. He said that even if the country is battling against the coronavirus pandemic, we must continue living with courage, hope, and optimism.
He noted that while our noble heroes of the past fought the threat of colonial powers, our beloved country also has its fight against the COVID-19 health crisis. He remains optimistic that soon we can overcome this great challenge. Moreover, he emphasized that we must possess the same gallantry of spirit and the characteristics our heroes once demonstrated as we unite ourselves in this health crisis.
In the commemoration at the Rizal Park in Manila, President Duterte skipped the ceremonies for the number of attendees has a limit of 10 people only. Therefore, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea represented the President’s presence and led the wreath-laying and flag-raising rites.
I will express my gratitude to our Philippine government and frontliners for their continuous service to the people. It is indeed a noble task serving not only our fellow citizens in the country but also other people from different countries as they are assigned to work there. For that, the Department of Tourism published a very inspirational video for the Overseas Frontliners worldwide as their tribute.
“Sa kalayaan ay pinalaya tayo ni Cristo: magsitibay nga kayo, at huwag na kayong pasakop na muli sa pamatok ng pagkaalipin.“Galacia 5:1
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