“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
-Pres. Franklin Roosevelt –
Today marks the 362nd day of our COVID-19 Pandemic journey. As we enter a new week, several news is circulating about the recent imposition of partial curfew in the State of Kuwait. The recent re-imposition of partial curfew in Kuwait was backed up with the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in the country as well as the threat of new COVID-19 variants. This should be served as a reminder to our fellow Kababayan to stay safe and practice preventive health measures to avoid getting infected by a coronavirus. Kuwait’s Ministry of Health continues to monitor COVID-19 data amidst the recent spike in the number of cases and report it to the general public for transparency.
View this post on Instagram
Update of COVID-19 Cases in Kuwait as of March 08, 2021
The Kuwait Ministry of Health (MoH) recently reported one thousand and three hundred twenty-six (1,326) newly confirmed COVID-19 cases. This brings to the total of 201,898 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The MoH also reported 6 new COVID-19 related deaths bringing to a total of 1,133 deaths. On the other side, the MoH positively reported that there are 935 new recoveries from COVID-19. This brings to the total 187,122 COVID-19 recoveries. As of today’s date, there are 13,643 total active cases in the country, and still hopeful that they will survive their battle against COVID-19.
Highlights of Kuwait’s Cabinet Meeting
Here are the highlights of the Council of Ministers’ weekly meeting last Monday, 08 March.
Ministry of Health happily reported to the nation that they’ve already administered COVID-19 vaccination to 322,000 individuals. Aside from that, the cabinet repeated its call on all citizens and residents to continue its cooperation and commitment to health requirements and precautionary measures.
The Cabinet also announced the implementation of the Appointment Reservation System for the entry of consumer cooperative societies during the period of partial curfew in the country.
5 PM to 5 AM Partial Curfew in Kuwait
On Sunday, 07 March, the Kuwaiti government recently re-imposed restrictions and reimplementation of a nationwide partial curfew due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country. Partial Curfew will run through from 5:00 PM to 5:00 AM the next morning.
During the nationwide partial curfew, here are some allowed essential services:
- Food deliveries and pick-up food services from restaurants and cafes. Dine-in is still prohibited.
- Traveling by taxi services. However, only two passengers are allowed inside the vehicle.
- Visiting parks and recreation spaces are allowed. However, this is for walking and jogging only.
- Exercising at gyms and availing haircut services at barbershops and salons are allowed. Gyms, spas, barbershops, and salons are now allowed to reopen starting 07 March.
Online Curfew Pass
The Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI), in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior’s Traffic Affairs and Operations Sector, has launched a website for the issuing of temporary departure permits during the partial curfew, which runs from 5:00 AM to 5:00 PM for a month, beginning Sunday, 07 March.
The new platform – https://curfew.paci.gov.kw/request/create – allows people to walk outside during curfew hours for only five reasons: an emergency, a doctor’s visit, blood donation, a COVID-19 swab test, or a COVID-19 vaccination. The duration of the departure authorization varies from 30 minutes to two hours.
On the automated system, those requesting a leave permit (curfew pass) should submit the following information: civil ID number or nationality number, mobile number, vehicle plate number, the purpose for going out, applicant’s PACI address, and destination’s PACI address. The Kuwait Finder tool can be used to retrieve PACI addresses.
The relevant authorities have advised curfew pass applicants against giving inaccurate data, as they will be jailed for six months and penalized not exceeding KD 5,000 or any of these punishments as per law number 8/1969 on health precautions for the prevention of infectious diseases.
According to reliable sources, the authority is working on a system for providing leave permits with the relevant government agencies and the Civil Defence Committee. As per sources, the number of citizens and expats who benefited from the leave permits platform during the last lockdown surpassed 1.9 million, with 200,000 leave permits being issued at the time.
Similarly, those expatriates who will break partial curfew measures will be facing deportation to their home country. Major General Faraj Al Zoubi, Assistant Undersecretary for Public Security Affairs at the Ministry of Interior, said that curfew offender will face legal consequences, with expats fearing deportation.
First filed complaint demanding to end to the partial curfew
Amidst the recent reimplementation of partial curfew nationwide, the Administrative Court recently received the first complaint that demand to end the partial curfew.
The Administrative Court has received the first immediate court case demanding the revocation of the government’s decision to implement the partial curfew, and the tribunal has set the March 10th circuit to hear his complaint. The complainant, lawyer Adel Al-Abd al-Hadi, said that owing to the ineffectiveness of the ruling and losses that are expected to occur, he wants that the partial curfew ruling be put on hold until the merit of the case is resolved.
Online Booking Service
View this post on Instagram
Council of Ministers on Monday instructed the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to coordinate and commence the online appointment service system for entering cooperative societies during the partial curfew period from 5 PM to 5 AM.
In recent days www.moci.shop has become an essential website for everyone to do grocery shopping.
- In www.moci.shop you can book an appointment for all cooperative societies, cooperative branches, supermarkets, hypermarkets, and fish markets
- Shopping Appointment is available only in curfew hours
- Previously, you can book an appointment for the stores available in your area, now you can book an appointment for any area
- As observed, the appointment is available only coming two days not more than that
- Lulu Salmiya mostly not available, it always shows as not available. Try booking an appointment early morning times.
You can even make an appointment for after curfew, which allows you to go shopping after curfew. If your appointment falls within curfew hours, you will be given two barcodes: one to allow you to leave your residence during curfew hours, and another to allow you to shop at the cooperatives.
You can choose a date and time to shop at your local central cooperative or its branches, which will minimize overcrowding and long line in front of cooperatives and shopping centers, resulting in a more comfortable shopping experience and preventing the spread of the coronavirus. If this initiative succeeds, more shops will be added in the next few days.
Once you’ve chosen an ideal time, you’ll receive confirmation. Please keep the reference number and a screenshot of the barcodes because you may or may not receive e-mails, and you won’t be able to amend or cancel your appointment without it.
Closure of Health Club for not following COVID-19 protocols
A Health Club in Adailiya received a permanent closure notice and shut down its operations due to an alleged violation of COVID-19 health protocols. The said health club was observed to be overcrowded and not maintaining two-meter physical distancing.
Vaccine Passports for COVID-19 should not be used for international travel – says WHO
According to a senior World Health Organization executive, so-called COVID-19 “vaccine passports” should not be utilized for foreign travel due to several reasons, including ethical considerations over COVID-19 vaccine availability.
Dr. Michael Ryan, WHO’s emergency chief, said there are “real practical and ethical considerations” for counties considering using vaccine clearance as a condition for travel, during a press conference on Monday, adding that the U.N also warns against it.
“Vaccination is just not available enough around the world and is not available certainly on an equitable basis,” Dr. Ryan said. The World Health Organization has previously said that the length of immunity from the several registered COVID-19 vaccines is unknown and that data is currently being gathered.
Dr. Ryan also pointed out that the strategy could be unfair to people who are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, and that requiring vaccine passports could allow “inequity and unfairness [to] be further branded into the system.”
322,000 individuals already vaccinated in Kuwait
As per the Ministry of Health, 322,000 residents and citizens had received the COVID-19 vaccine as of Monday.
Only 17.4% of people qualified for the vaccine have pre-registered to receive it, as per Kuwait’s Undersecretary of General Health at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Buthayna Al Mudhaf.
Dr. Al Mudhaf also stated that the Ministry of Health has immunized all citizens and residents over the age of 65 who are willing to receive the COVID-19 jab.
The Ministry of Health declared that in order to vaccinate as many people as possible, it will continuing inoculating people even during the curfew hours, which started on Sunday and will be implemented every day from 5:00 PM to 5:00 AM for a month.
Citizens and expatriates continue to queue up in vaccination centers in order to receive the jab. These individuals alike continue to swarm to vaccination centers around Kuwait, each with an online appointment, in the idea that having their COVID-19 vaccine is the only solution to stop a raging pandemic.
However, vaccination centers recently closed because it was a public holiday and received numerous criticisms from the general public.
The closure of the Kuwait Vaccination Center at Mishref Fairgrounds and other 15 vaccination centers across the country during the holidays was widely criticized at a time when the country desperately needs more administration of COVID-19 jabs.
Critics emphasized the importance of taking advantage of the time factor to speed up vaccines in order to prevent the pandemic, whose numbers have risen drastically in recent days. They’ve also noted that the Ministry of Health now possesses thousands of doses, including the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines, which are likely to arrive on Sunday, making it nonsensical to halt vaccination centers for the holidays, as they must be operational at all times to achieve herd immunity.
In the meantime, the pace of the COVID-19 immunization campaign may reach targeted levels by the end of Ramadan, rendering ineffectual restrictions such as curfews and lockdown, but only if the companies entrusted to manufacture vaccines do so on the specified dates.
“A large quantity of doses is expected to arrive during the coming period,” Dr. Sheikh Basel Al-Sabah of the Ministry of Health said during the recently held virtual meeting with officials of the vaccine manufacturer to discuss the arrival dates of the COVID-19 vaccine batches in the upcoming period. It was also ensured that the health system has enough strength and high capabilities to administer the vaccination to more than 300,000 people per month, provided that vaccines are available.
Alleged blood clotting cases related to AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine
Last Thursday, a team from Kuwait’s Ministry of Health reported that no blood clots or deaths linked to COVID-19 vaccines, specifically Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines had been identified.
The team is in charge of monitoring vaccination adverse effects and keeping up with domestic and international trends regarding vaccine safety.
Recently, Denmark and Austria temporarily freeze the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine inoculation. The temporary halt of vaccination as part of their routine precautionary measures in case of occurrence of unexpected effects until completion of the investigation of some blood clotting cases.
Despite a lack of evidence linking Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine to intermittent reports of blood clots, authorities in several European nations pushed back toward decisions by others to halt the use of the vaccine.
The team constantly follows up on the safety of vaccines and assesses side effects that might arise. Adverse effects from Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines are expected but not lethal, they assured.
Despite news circulating in some countries regarding blood clotting cases after receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, the State of Kuwait will continue to inoculate these vaccines to the general public.
The MOH stated that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will continue to be used as part of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, noting that no unanticipated adverse effects have been reported in individuals who have received the said vaccine in Kuwait.
To conclude our COVID-19 update, Kuwait has a total tally of 201,898 COVID-19 cases. Meanwhile, the Philippines have 597,763 total COVID-19 cases with 39,330 total active cases. As of 08 March, 4 PM, the Department of Health posted additional 3,356 newly-reported cases, 91.2% of which are mild COVID-19 cases. Kuwait and the Philippines are now in their full efforts to control the COVID-19 situation. Both countries are exerting their efforts to ensure the adherence of the general public to health protocols and safeguard each life of their countrymen. As Kuwait now re-implements partial curfew measures, we must remain cautious and compliant in following health protocols to avoid getting infected by the deadly COVID-19. Let us continue to be optimistic that the pandemic will soon end and have our steady path towards normalcy.
MUST READ AND SHARE!
You may also follow my Instagram account featuring microliterature #microlit. For more of my artworks, visit DIARYNIGRACIA INSTAGRAM.