March 15, 2020, Sunday
“A love for tradition has never weakened a nation; indeed, it has strengthened nations in their hour of peril.”Winston Churchill
As each day passes, doctors around the world obtain more medical data showing how contagious the COVID-19 virus is. In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health reported another eight new COVID-19 cases with two more recoveries for this Sunday of March 15, 2020. It brings to a total record of 112 cases with eight successful recoveries in the country.
Within the new cases, three of them are Kuwaiti citizens with travel history to the United Kingdom; three citizens had contact with cases to the United Kingdom, one citizen with travel to France via the United Arab Emirates, and one citizen in quarantine with travel history to Iran. Four cases are under critical condition. Compared to yesterday, the new number of cases increased.
Government Spokesperson Tareq Al-Mezrem announced the closure of malls, shops, salons, arcades, and entertainment centers as part of COVID-19 precautionary measures. However, he clarified that ration centers and cooperative societies would remain operable to ensure the regulation of essential commodities in the community. For the Kuwait students abroad, he assured that their scholarships would continue despite the ongoing crisis in the country.
The Ministry of Health published an announcement to all expatriates that arrived in Kuwait on March 1, 2020. They requested to visit the new headquarters of the ministry for following up on the precautionary measures implemented against the pandemic. This Monday of March 16, 2020, the authorities allocated the day for the expatriates from the countries of Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon, who currently resides in the Hawally governorate. The office is in Kuwait Fair Grounds, sixth Ring Road Entrance, Hall no. 6. It is open from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. Furthermore, one must bring their civil I.D. and passport. The attendance of the expatriates is compulsory by penalty.
It is the right action for the Ministry of Health to check upon the expatriates arriving in the country. It is because most COVID-19 cases are associated with international transmission. The community will reduce its rate of local transmission if these expatriates are safe from the COVID-19 disease.
On the other hand, the authorities announced that the COVID-19 screenings held in the Mishref area’s fairground to the expatriates came out negative. The health specialists will announce the results after four days of extensive tests in the place. The Ministry of Health ensures the public with accurate updates on the latest data concerning the disease. They will conduct the necessary steps and announce new safety measures to contain the virus’s spread.
Moreover, the Ministry of Interior’s security forces ensured the safety of the inmates in the central prison from contracting the COVID-19 virus.
They imposed precautionary health measures by separating the place for new prisoners from the old prisoners. They will regularly check the health conditions of the newly arrested individuals. On top of that, the Municipality team of the country sprayed disinfectants in the public streets of Jahra. It is good to know that they are keeping these public places clean at night, considering how many people would walk on these streets in the morning.
Some of the citizens in Kuwait took action in raising awareness of their fellow citizens. The paper that they are holding contains the messages that one must set the best example for the other people. They advised everyone to comply with the guidelines to avoid the harm caused by the virus. These people urge the public to take this responsibility seriously because these pandemics are not a joke.
I appreciate the bravery of these people as they do their best to help the government raise awareness about the pandemic. To protect themselves, they also wear masks as they roam around the streets. Empowering one’s love for the country will urge other people to follow the implemented law.
Despite the implementation of quarantine in the country, it is evident that many people are still wandering in the streets. In a video showing the streets near Jleeb market, some citizens and residents are not practicing the precautionary measures such as wearing of facemask and physical distancing.
However, the vendors of the Fahaleel market started to notice the effects of the imposed quarantine. In the video, fewer customers are visiting the market, which leads the vendors to entertain themselves while waiting for buyers to check out their stores. They played a cricket match for entertainment with each other.
The Philippine Embassy of Kuwait reported the success of its Embassy Assisted Repatriation Program (EARP). Amidst this occurring pandemic, the Embassy can return 32 distressed Overseas Filipino Workers home. Upon arriving in Manila, the Department of Foreign Affairs welcomed and assisted them.
The Embassy stood up to its goals of helping the Overseas Filipino Workers in Kuwait. Even during this time of crisis, they continue their duty to ensure the safety of Filipino citizens.
In the Philippines, the Department of Health has reported 29 new COVID-19 cases with three deaths and two recoveries. It brings to a total record of 140 cases with 11 deaths and two recoveries in the country. Within the cases, 13 of them had no known contact with a COVID-19 patient, while the other three had contact with a COVID-19 patient. Among the cases is a 13-year-old girl who is the youngest patient in the country.
In regards to the implementation of community quarantine in Metro Manila, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has assured the citizens that the authorities will not arrest individual just because he or she entered or exited the city. The security forces such as the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines can only stop an individual from entering or exiting the city. The security forces will only arrest the individuals if they will physically attack or disrespect the security personnel. Because of the community quarantine, malls in the Metro Manila adjusted their operating hours. However, there is still no order of implementing its total closure.
On top of that, President Duterte has officially tested negative from the COVID-19. Panelo further said that there is no stopping of the Chief Executive from performing his primary constitutional duty of serving and protecting the people. With his passion and dedication for the nation, he will continue to work for the citizens as we face the threat of COVID-19 disease.
This Sunday is the 4th day of the quarantine. Kuwait has a total number of 112 COVID-19 cases, while the Philippines has 140 cases. The cases in the Philippines are now higher than in Kuwait. Within the data, I can consider that the government of Kuwait effectively contains the virus’s spread. However, it is still not late for the Philippines to take immediate measures. I will thank the Kuwait government for effectively handling the situation in the country. For the Philippine government, I have faith they can effectively respond to the COVID-19 situation to ensure the safety of my fellow compatriots..
“Ikaw ay umawit, Oh langit; at magalak, Oh Lupa; at kayo’y biglang magsiawit, Oh mga bundok: sapagka’t inaliw ng Panginoon ang kaniyang bayan, at mahahabag sa kaniyang nagdadalamhati.”Isaias 49:13
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