CORONAVIRUS DIARIES Week #48: Kuwait’s Immediate Response against COVID-19

CORONAVIRUS DIARIES Week #48: Kuwait’s Immediate Response against COVID-19

“Never lose hope. Storms make people stronger and never last forever.”

– Roy T. Bennett –

 

Today marks the 341st day of our COVID-19 Pandemic journey. As we can see, COVID-19 cases are in an uptrend. The Kuwaiti government is trying its best to control the situation by implementing stringent measures.

The implementation of the stringent measures is backed up by the recent data published by the Ministry of Health about their COVID-19 cases.

Update of COVID-19 Cases in Kuwait as of February 15, 2021

The photo was taken from: Instagram: Kuwait MOH

The Kuwait Ministry of Health (MoH) reported eight hundred and twenty-three (823) new confirmed COVID-19 cases. This brings to the total of 178,524 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Unfortunately, the MoH also reported 6 new COVID-19 deaths bringing to a total of 1,009 deaths. However, The MoH positively reported that there are 772 new recoveries from COVID-19. This brings to the total of 166,791 COVID-19 recoveries. As of today’s date, there are 10,724 total active cases in the country, and still hopeful that they will recover from COVID-19.

Compared to last week’s data, there is a slight decrease in the daily newly confirmed cases. However, people should not be complacent about the downtrend of COVID-19 cases in the country because we don’t know when the resurgence might occur. With regards to the total active cases, there is a huge increase compared to last week’s data. This may be the justification for implementing stringent measures to curb the threat of COVID-19 resurgence in the state.

 

Highlights of the Weekly Meeting of Kuwaiti’s Cabinet

Kuwait Cabinet holds Weekly Meeting

This photo was taken from: Instagram: Ayman Mat News

 

With the recently concluded meeting by Kuwait’s Cabinet, it releases a few reminders and declarations addressed to Kuwait’s people.

Kuwait’s Cabinet approved the 4-day holiday in the stated observance of the National & Liberation Day. All government offices shall be closed from Thursday, February 25 until Sunday, February 28. Resumption of regular working hours will be on Monday, March 01.

Moreover, it was addressed during the meeting the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the country. It was observed that there was a significant increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalization.

Because of the recent spike of COVID-19 cases, the Cabinet reinstated to the public to adhere to preventive measures and health protocols for each and everybody’s safety. It was emphasized that complying with these health measures and guidelines, taking social responsibility, and getting vaccinated would result in a healthy return to normalcy, as well as the Ministry of Health’s efforts to promote the vaccination campaign.

 

New Rules for all Passengers arriving in Kuwait

Civil Aviation Press Release

This photo was taken from: Facebook: Kuwait Update News

 

With the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in the country, Civil Aviation issued a circular discussing the guidelines for all passengers that will arrive in Kuwait.

It was reinstated that all passengers arriving in Kuwait coming from restricted countries will be subjected to 14-day mandatory quarantine. All passengers arriving in Kuwait coming from restricted countries shall take quarantine at their own cost and make prior arrangements to locally approved hotels. They may use Kuwaitmosafer and/or Belsalamah platforms to make necessary arrangements for their hotel quarantine facility.

Moreover, passengers arriving coming from other unrestricted countries will be subjected to 7-day mandatory quarantine at their own cost. All arrangements for locally approved quarantine hotels must be done through Kuwaitmosafer and/or Belsalamah platform. On the 6th day, all passengers arriving coming from other unrestricted countries will undergo a PCR test. If results are negative, all passengers arriving coming from other unrestricted countries can take their 7-day quarantine at home.

 

Resumption of Sports Event

Al-Ahmad International Stadium

This photo was taken from: Instagram: CNN International

 

On 16 February, the Ministry of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs discussed the importance of sports events and competitions. It highlighted the essence of domestic and foreign sports competitions in compliance with health protocols.

Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, public attendance of fans in stadiums is not allowed. This is because they want to preserve the life of the general public and prevent the spread of coronavirus. The sports event will be broadcasted live on television and can be streamed online.

All players, referees, and officials in charge will take regular PCR checks for them. COVID-19 vaccination for players, referees, and officials in charge are subject to approval.

It is great news that sports events are allowed with adherence to health protocols. I commend the decision of the government to allow sports events to take place for them to play. It is possible to execute sports events without breaking health protocols. Fans for sports events can watch in their safety and comfort of their home.

 

Burial Timings

 Kuwait Cemetery

This photo was taken from: Kuwait Times

 

In a bid to curb the transmission of COVID-19 and following health regulations that protect public health, the funerals department issued an order restricting access to cemeteries for the deceased’s relatives only (20 persons), bodies will be prepared by relatives (3 persons). Burials will take place every thirty (30) minutes. The main cemetery gates will be open from 10 AM TO 2 PM beginning on February 17.

 

COVID Death Toll surpasses 1,000 in Kuwait

This photo was taken from: India Today

 

It is saddening news to hear that we’ve lost more than 1,000 lives in our battle against COVID-19. Kuwait’s Ministry of Health recently reported that we’ve already lost 1,009 lives in our fight against COVID-19.

We know how fatal COVID-19 is so we need to be extra careful about our health and safety. We must adhere to health protocols to avoid contracting the virus. Cases of coronavirus may be fatal but we need to keep strong and fight against the virus.

I pray to those people we’ve lost against COVID-19 to find rest in paradise. May the souls of our departed loved ones may rest in peace with God.

 

The arrival of the 5th Batch of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

This photo was taken from: Financial Times

 

With the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Kuwait, somehow we felt relieved by the news that the 5th batch of COVID-19 vaccine finally arrived in the country. The newly arrived vaccine will be an additional dose for those people who haven’t received their vaccine dose.

The 5th batch of Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine will arrive on Sunday, as per Assistant Undersecretary Abdullah Al-Bader. Until last Monday, over 454,522 people had registered to receive the vaccination; approximately 137,000 people had received the vaccine, including approximately 119,000 residents, with a daily rate of vaccinations of 16,000 individuals.

 

The Issue on Vaccine Safety

Kuwait Vaccination Center

This photo was taken from: Gulf News

People are now skeptical about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine after rumors were spread out that there were recorded deaths and serious side effects upon receiving the shot. However, Kuwait’s Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health announced on Monday that no deaths, ICU admissions, or “unexpected side-effects” from COVID-19 vaccinations had been recorded in the country.

According to the MOH, a specialized technical team monitors “possible” side effects for those who have received the vaccines.

In response to false reports that have gone viral on the internet, Kuwait’s health ministry has issued a statement stating that the vaccinations approved in Kuwait are both effective and safe.

The Ministry of Health has warned that those who spread these rumors and false information will face legal consequences.

This news highlights the importance of being fully informed with factual news only. It takes a serious effect when we believed in false rumors because this might led us to danger. In essence, instead of having confidence with the vaccine and get protected early, skepticism will affect your decision and increase the chance to get COVID-19 because you were not protected by the vaccine as soon as possible.

 

Ban on Expats

Expatriates at Airport

This photo was taken from: Gulf News

The Kuwaiti government declared that the airport closure for non-Kuwaiti people will be extended. Instead of allowing non-Kuwaiti citizens to enter Kuwait on February 21, as previously announced, the Kuwaiti government announced on February 20 that the ban on non-Kuwaiti citizens entering Kuwait would be extended until further notice.

As per Kuwait’s health officials, after assessing the global coronavirus pandemic scenario, only Kuwaitis and their first-degree relatives, as well as accompanying domestic staff, will be permitted to enter Kuwait.

All arriving passengers must register on the Kuwaitmosafer app/website. All airlines must ensure not to accept passengers who have not registered in the mentioned app/website.

Only passengers with a negative PCR certificate valid for 72 hours from the date of the test will be accepted, given that they do not have any symptoms such as a cold, sneezing, high temperature, cough, etc.

Passengers are required to take 14-day mandatory quarantine. First 7 days institutional quarantine in any one of the approved hotels with additional 7 days of home quarantine all at their own expense.

At their own cost, two PCRs will be administered, the first upon arrival and the second on the sixth day during institutional quarantine.

However, the Kuwaiti government released a list of those who are exempted from the ban

  1. Diplomats and their families along with their domestic staffs
  2. Kuwaiti patients and their companions
  3. Kuwaiti students
  4. Medical crew and their families
  5. Minors below 18 years old

 

Philippine Embassy in Kuwait’s Temporary Office at Kuwait Disabled Sports Club

Kuwait Disabled Sport Club

This photo was taken from: www.wikimapia.com

 

The building of the Kuwait Club for the Disabled in the Hawally area serves as the temporary office of the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait for PASSPORT SERVICES ONLY. The Kuwait Disabled Sports Club was crowded immediately as Filipinos who wish to renew their passports flocked in the place.

The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait extends its gratitude to Kuwaiti authorities for letting them conduct temporary mobile consular services in the Kuwait Disabled Sports Club. The embassy requested the Interior Ministry with the help of a Filipino organization to allow them to use the place so that they will have a bigger venue. With a bigger venue, they will be able to adhere to health protocols and avoid crowding.

 

Philippine Embassy in Kuwait’s Temporary Office at Sabah Al-Salem

Temporary Office in Sabah Al-Salem

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

 

Moreover, the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait recently announced the opening of a temporary office in Sabah Al-Salem for NON-PASSPORT SERVICES ONLY.

At the embassy’s temporary office in Sabah Al-Salem, all passport services will be unavailable. Instead, passport services will be available at the Kuwait Disabled Sports Club in Hawally Area during the mobile passport service.

The embassy also advises people to wear face masks at all times and maintain a two-meter physical distance from others.

Lastly, the embassy reminds the public to not patronize illegal street food vendors around the embassy premises. This is to maintain goodwill with the building owner and new neighbors in the Sabah Al-Salem area. Filipino expatriates are reminded that unauthorized food selling is illegal and punishable by law, including immediate deportation to the Philippines.

 

POLO Kuwait offers Assistance Services at Kuwait Disabled Sports Club

On 19 and 20 of February, POLO Kuwait recently conducted POLO Services at Kuwait Disabled Sports Club in Hawally Area.

POLO Kuwait Services

This photo was taken from: Facebook: POLO Kuwait

 

POLO Kuwait offered services such as Contract Verification for Balik-Manggagawa, OWWA Membership Renewal, SSS Contributions, and Pag-IBIG.

POLO Kuwait Services

This photo was taken from: Facebook: POLO Kuwait

With these services from POLO Kuwait, it provides Filipino expatriates in Kuwait to have a safer, faster, and convenient one-stop-shop to do business with Philippine government agencies.

To summarize our COVID-19 Update, as of 15 February 2021 Kuwait has a total tally of 178,524 COVID-19 cases, while the Philippines has 550,860 confirmed cases. The Department of Health reported 1,685 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases with 86.6% mild cases. The DOH reported additional 14 recoveries that bring to a total of 511,755 recoveries. Unfortunately, they also reported that 2 lives were lost in their battle against COVID-19.

 

COVID-19 Pandemic situation around the Globe

On 16 February, the New York Times reported that the global number of newly reported COVID-19 cases declined for a fifth straight week. It’s good news to hear, but it still varies from country to country. The decline might be a momentum indicator with the resurgence of COVID-19 cases across the globe. No one should be complacent with the recent decline of daily reported cases.

Whether there is a decline or uptrend in daily new cases, people should adhere to health protocols. Moreover, the key to our path towards normalcy lies in the developing COVID-19 vaccines by drug makers.

In fact, in the United States, they are now running a vaccine test for teenagers. Experts stated that developing vaccine for teenagers is crucial because of health reasons. As of now, approved vaccines by the U.S. FDA are only for adults and the elderly.

Developing vaccines for teenagers is hard because of the health barriers and seeking parental consent or permission first before conducting vaccine trials for teenagers. In fact, a health journalist stated that the pediatric trial is insane. Sheila Eldred said that teenagers are not “coronavirus guinea pigs”.

Despite the issues on the COVID-19 vaccine for teenagers, several countries began to inoculate the COVID-19 vaccine to adults. Recently, Lebanon and Columbia kicked off their COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Meanwhile, in the United States, an average of 1.7 million vaccinations was administered. However, supplies for vaccines were not increasing quickly enough to keep up with the momentum.

With these recent developments on the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, it offers a glimmer of hope to countries who suffered badly from the pandemic crisis.

 

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 #46: COVID-19 Case Resurgence in Kuwait

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

 

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