March 29, 2020, Monday
“Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.”Peter Drucker
Many countries implemented community quarantine to fight the coronavirus pandemic. However, it does not end there. Regular assessment of its effectivity must be done to improve the weak points of the implementation.
In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health announces 20 new COVID-19 cases with three additional recoveries. It brings to a total record of 255 cases with 67 recovered cases. Within the new cases, there 6 Kuwait citizens who traveled to the United Kingdom, one expatriate who traveled to Saudi Arabia, 13 cases who had contact with confirmed cases, one Kuwait citizen who went to Saudi, nine Indian residents who had contact with three confirmed cases and three Bangladeshis who had contact with a confirmed case. Currently, there are 188 active cases in the country. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases has doubled.
The Shortcomings of the Curfew
The Cabinet of Ministers had a meeting today led by the Minister of Interior Anas Al-Saleh for another discussion on the latest developments of COVID-19 disease in Al-Seef place. The assembly includes the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Al-Nasser, the Minister of Trade and Industry Khaled Al-Roudhan, the Minister of Oil Khaled Al-Fadil, the Minister of Works Dr. Rana Al-Faris, the Minister of Health Sheikh Dr. Basil Al-Sabah and the Minister of Information Mohammed Al-Jabri.
The Ministries of Health, Trade, and Education discussed their reports on the COVID-19 situation in the country. They discussed that the shortcomings of Kuwait citizens and expatriates marred the implemented curfew. It happens during the grace hours, starting from 4:00 am until 5:00 pm. In these times, people are wandering and shopping in stores for leisure and not for their necessities. In response, they formulated recommendations to enforce the curfew stringently, reducing the number of people outside. In this way, the authorities can force the citizens to stay home except for urgent necessities.
It is a good thing that the Kuwait authorities started assessing the effectiveness of their implemented curfew. They managed to discover their shortcomings and continue to find ways of improving the quarantine protocols. For this, I commend their regular assessment of the COVID-19 situation of the country.
Because of the critical situation that led to the public sector’s suspension, the public raised concerns about the renewal of their driver’s license, registration of their vehicles, and other documents. In response, the Ministry of Interior reminded them that they could renew their driving licenses using the official website via www.moi.gov.kw. They affirmed that they would not impose any fines on the citizens whose driving license expired during the implementation of lockdown. This decision will put the citizen and residents at ease about the renewal of their driver’s license.
A Charity Campaign Against COVID-19 Disease
A report from the Ministry of Social Affairs affirms that the campaign has raised a total of KD 9.169 million, equivalent to USD 30 million in a single day. Forty-one Kuwaiti charities helped in its official launching with a view to completely support the government in its efforts against the spread of COVID-19 disease and help the other citizens affected by this crisis.
Assistant Undersecretary for Social Development Hanaa Al-Hajri conducted the campaign under the ministry’s supervision with an online platform intended for this purpose. She estimated that 198,227 people contributed to the campaign. The campaign will allow different charities to give monetary contributions to the government funds to combat the COVID-19 virus. The diversity of the charities that are participating gave the opportunity to all members of the society to stretch its donation. It aims to aid the logistical support of the health centers and quarantine facilities designed by the authorities.
The people of Kuwait is very generous and cooperative when the country needs its assistance in handling the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, the Yousef Al Owaid & Sons Company decided to support the Ministry of Health in stopping the spread of the COVID-19 virus. They provided the ministry with the necessary vehicles for their safe transportation. It is an excellent idea from the company for these provisions, for it will address the problem of transportation.
The act conveys the unceasing cooperation of the private sectors with the government. They are willing to support the authorities with all their resources to make the jobs of the health authorities comfortable and safe.
The Meeting for Repatriation
Kuwait Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Nasser Mohammad Al-Sabah conducted a meeting with the team directed for the repatriation of Kuwaiti citizens from foreign countries. Its purpose is to discuss the safe guarantee of the nationals on their return. With the President of Kuwait Red Crescent Society Dr. Helal Al-Sayer, they also discussed about the urgent measures in dealing with the latest developments of COVID-19 disease.
The preparation of the Kuwait government to repatriate its citizens from other countries is commendable. The “Housing” Ministry of Finance received 520 units within the city of Jaber Al-Ahmad. The ministry will prepare these units for quarantine protocols. It will provide the units needed for the repatriates.
The evacuation flight carrying 97 Kuwait citizens from Iran and 280 passengers from London successfully arrived in Kuwait. It is good to know they managed to return home. However, they will still undergo quarantine protocols in the designated areas of the authorities. It will ensure that not any one of them is positive with the COVID-19 disease.
I am glad that the country is facilitating the return of more citizens in the country. However, I hope that they will successfully undergo quarantine protocols to prevent the spread of the virus brought by international flights.
Update of 2020 Amnesty Program by Philippine Embassy in Kuwait
The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait released an update of the 2020 Amnesty Program implemented in Kuwait. It entails that the Embassy is closely coordinating with the Kuwait government in regards to the amnesty program for the residency visa violators considering that they leave the country from April 1 to 30, 2020.
The Embassy and the Kuwait authorities have not finalized the plan to implement the amnesty program. However, their discussions did not include accepting and sheltering the amnesty applicants at the office. Therefore, they advised the Filipino who are planning to avail the amnesty to avoid visiting the Embassy for inquiries in the program or seeking temporary refuge. It is to address the possibility of overcrowding in the office considering the threat of the spread of coronavirus. For future advisories, the Embassy informs the Filipino community to follow their official website, Facebook, and Twitter accounts for an update.
Today marks the 18th day of the quarantine and 8th day of the curfew. As Kuwait faces a pandemic threat, the authorities are paying attention to the repatriation of the country’s citizens. They are definitely ensuring the safety of the citizens and residents in the nation. Therefore, I am thankful for all their efforts in containing the spread of coronavirus.
Effectivity of Enhanced Community Quarantine
In the Philippines, the Department of Health reported 343 new COVID-19 cases with three additional deaths and seven recoveries. It brings to a total number of 1,418 cases with 71 fatalities ad 42 recovered cases. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases increased.
Malacañang affirmed that the implemented enhanced community quarantine is effective in helping the country curb the spread of coronavirus. Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that the COVID-19 cases would increase further if President Rodrigo Duterte did not impose ECQ immediately. He disagreed with the claims of the critics saying that ECQ is ineffective in flattening the epidemic curve.
The increasing number of daily reported cases is due to the additional COVID-19 testing centers. Panelo said more people are undergoing COVID-19 tests today than before. Lastly, he reassured the public that the Philippine government is doing everything to contain the spread of COVID-19.
As we encounter this pandemic, it is crucial to remain optimistic about how our country is handling the COVID-19 situation. However, we must open our minds to looking at the facts explaining our progress in containing the virus. For this, I encourage everyone to remain strong as our frontliners continue their battle against coronavirus.
“Nasasabik ako; Yahweh, sa pangakong pagliligtas, natamo ko sa utos mo, ang ligaya at ang galak.Awit 119:174
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