March 23, 2020, Monday
“The safety of the people shall be the highest law.”Marcus Tullius Cicero
The threat of the COVID-19 virus is still present across different nations. As long as it still exists, the governments of different countries continue to implement guidelines to stop this pandemic. In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health has announced one new COVID-19 case. It brings to a total of 189 cases with 30 recovered cases.
There are 159 patients under medical treatment, in which five are under the intensive care unit. The new case is a Kuwait citizen with a travel history to the United Arab Emirates. Compared to yesterday, the new number of cases has decreased.
The Ministry of Health has reminded the community about the protective measures against the COVID-19 disease. One must cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or through a technique of bending one’s elbow while coughing or sneezing. The used tissue must be disposed of immediately. Washing of one’s hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds is a must. Alcohol sanitizers can also apply for disinfecting one’s hands.
During this pandemic, these protective measures are our only prevention against the virus. Because the specific vaccine for COVID-19 is still not available, we have no choice but to follow this health guideline and hope for the best to remain safe from the virus.
Throughout history, the country of Kuwait has imposed curfew three times. The first one is during the year 1956 due to the Ahmadi oil field explosions. The next one is in 1991, during the end of the Iraqi occupation during the Gulf War. The last one is during this year of 2020, when the whole country faces a threat against the COVID-19 disease.
The implementation of curfew has always been proven effective during these crises because it imposes movement restrictions on citizens. When the citizens are obligated to stay home, it will be easier for the government to face the crisis in the community. Staying home will ensure the authorities that the people in the city are safe within the walls of their home. In this pandemic crisis, where a contagious disease is terrorizing the lives of the community, we all need the implemented curfew to prevent any people gathering. It is because the virus propagates faster when many people are collected in the same area.
Despite the ongoing curfew, the Kuwait Ministry of Interior has specified the conditions needed to acquire permits during the period. The specified conditions include the ones who are seeking urgent medical treatment, attending doctor appointments, or taking care of the sick. In a statement by the Interior Ministry, they emphasized the importance of following the specific rules in acquiring one’s permit. The ones who obtained the document will be monitored through their cellphones to ensure that they are fully attending their intended reason. They will subject any violators to legal punishment and questioning. The Ministry has urged the public to contact them through 25585115-25585116 numbers for more information. The citizens and residents can acquire their permits through an online platform with this link. http://curfew.paci.gov.kw
It is good to know that the authorities are giving the citizens a chance to go outside during emergencies and doctor appointments. It is because these health instances are inevitable. If these health appointments are scheduled, then it has a reason to be appointed on that specific day. The government of Kuwait completely understands the health situations of its citizens and residents.
The authorities have released the decision of the Kuwait Municipality Administrative. It entails the following establishments that are exempted from the closure decision as the authorities allow these stores to open during this period. It includes the food and beverage shops, centers, markets, maintenance and repair shops, currency exchange shops, pharmacies, restaurants of all types, optical shops, administrative offices, gas branches, hardware stores in cooperative societies, and cattle feed shops.
They exempted laundry, washing, ironing, and vehicle maintenance and repairs. The industrial and service centers licensed by the Public Authority of Industry related to the productions are food, petrochemicals, gases, plastic, cartons, and paper products, and other activities that have the approval of the Public Authority of Industry. The operation hours of the exempted establishments shall be anytime between 5:00 am to 4:00 pm.
The imposed guidelines entail which establishments will operate during the period of curfew and quarantine. These chosen establishments that are allowed to operate are the vital sectors in the community. They provide the essential commodities and goods needed by the citizens and residents. Through these guidelines, people will have access to their needs.
The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait has informed about the temporary suspension of Philippine Visa Issuance and Visa-Free Privileges due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The Embassy has officially announced that it has stopped issuing Philippine visas to all foreign nationals until further notice as a precautionary measure. The decision is by the declaration of enhanced community quarantine in the Luzon Island and the direction of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to Philippine Embassies and Consulates worldwide.
The Embassy has informed the GCC and Kuwaiti nationals that the DFA suspends their visa-free privileges until further notice. However, they exempt the foreign spouses and children of Filipino nationals from this temporary suspension.
Lastly, they canceled all previously issued Philippine visas except the foreign government and international organization officials accredited to the Philippines and the foreign spouses and children of Filipino nationals. During this time of the pandemic, the Embassy reminds everyone to stay safe and healthy.
The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait has posted the reminders given by the Ministry of Health in Kuwait. The reminders entail the need to maintain at least 1-meter distance between oneself and other people. One must also remain at home even after curfew hours are over. Do not leave home until it is necessary. It ensures the safety of the citizens from contracting the virus outside their private premises.
In the Philippines, the Department of Health has announced 82 new COVID-19 cases with eight additional deaths and one recovery. It brings to a total of 462 cases, with 33 deaths and 18 recoveries. Compared to yesterday, the new number of cases has increased.
The Philippine government has announced the issuance of the hazard pay given to the government workers during the enhanced community quarantine. The Administrative Order 26, which is signed today, grants a COVID-19 hazard pay of 500 pesos per day. The order is effective starting March 17 until further notice. The government workers who can receive the hazard pay are the ones who occupy regular, contractual or casual positions or engaged through a contract of service (COS), job order (JO) in national government agencies (NGAs), including state universities and colleges (SUCs) and government-owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs) as stated in the administrative order.
In addition to that, the Philippine Navy has provided ample personnel and assets that will aid its Coast Guard counterparts. It addresses the possibility of unauthorized water travel during the 30-day enhanced community quarantine. They reported that there are patrol boats and crew under the supervision of the Naval Task Group-National Capital Region (NTG-NCR) prepared to guard and patrol any passenger watercraft to and from the Manila Bay. These maritime patrol efforts will complement all land quarantine stations and checkpoints.
Today marks the 12th day of the quarantine and 2nd day of the curfew. Kuwait has a total of 189 COVID-19 cases, while the Philippines has 462 cases. Both countries have strengthened their implemented measures for their fight against COVID-19 disease. They have mobilized their security forces for its strict implementation.
“Magpalakas at magpakatapang na mabuti; huwag kang matakot, ni manglupaypay: sapagka’t ang Panginoon mong Dios ay sumasaiyo saan ka man pumaroon.”
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