March 30, 2020, Monday
“Knowledge is not power. It is only potential. Applying that knowledge is power. Understanding why and when to apply that knowledge is wisdom.”Takada Shingen
The country of China first encountered the threat of the COVID-19 health crisis. Therefore, they managed to gain more understanding and knowledge first-hand. Relying on their effective techniques in handling the crisis must be implemented by many countries. In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health announced 11 new COVID-19 cases with five additional recoveries. It brings to a total record of 266 cases with 72 recovered cases. Within the new cases, two cases are related to travel in the United Kingdom and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, eight cases had contact with confirmed cases, and once the case is under investigation. There are 194 patients undergoing treatment, while 13 are in the intensive care unit. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases decreased.
The Ministry of Health further encourages the community to comply with the implemented guidelines of the country. They released an announcement that the non-compliance of the citizens and residents will contribute to the spread of coronavirus among contacts and infection cases from unknown sources that require intensive investigation.
Complying with the Guidelines
The Kuwait government implemented an indefinite curfew time from 5:00 pm until 4:00 am since March 21, 2020. We must follow this period to curb the spread of coronavirus as we undergo home quarantine. The authorities warned the citizens and residents to comply with the guideline, or else the security officials will arrest them for up to three years and pay a fine of KD 10,000 in pursuant to Civil Defense Law.
For instance, a photo shows the situation in Khaitan at exactly 5:20 pm, which is within the period of curfew. However, some people are still roaming around despite the implemented curfew. It is disheartening to know that some individuals still fail to cooperate with the authorities.
Another video shows used gloves near the pavement of the road. The Kuwait Environment Public Authority affirmed that KD 500 would be fined for those who irresponsibly throw these things in the public. In this pandemic context, infectious materials such as gloves can contribute to its further spread, especially when exposed to the public. I am very disappointed about this incident knowing that coronavirus is on the loose. Therefore, everyone must practice proper disposal to create a safer environment for citizens and residents.
The Ministry of Interior announced that they would stop accepting recently issued cards for movement permits during the curfew this coming Wednesday of April 1, 2020. The decision aims to prevent any misuse of the issued cards. As a solution to the possible problem, the ministry devised a digital barcode system that can grant waivers who meet the specified conditions. On Thursday of April 2, 2020, the ministry will send a barcode to the mobile phones of the eligible people that they can use during the curfew time.
The Statement from the Chinese Ambassador
A reassuring statement came from the Chinese Ambassador in Kuwait, Ambassador Li Minggang, who said that Kuwait would be able to conquer the coronavirus pandemic in the near future. He appreciates the country’s cooperation with China since the beginning of the outbreak in the central city of Wuhan. As of now, Kuwait provided China with medical supplies worth of USD three million. In return, China shared its expertise in handling the COVID-19 disease by sending diagnosis data and treatment devices.
Several Chinese companies are also supporting Kuwait’s efforts on its battle against coronavirus. It shows China’s willingness to assist Kuwait, especially in building a field hospital. Through the collaboration of both countries, the chances of Kuwait defeating the virus is very high.
Today marks the 19th day of the quarantine and 9th day of the curfew. It is grateful to know that China and Kuwait are collaborating for the country’s success against the battle of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new system implemented by the Interior Ministry to further regulate the flow of people’s movement is commendable. With that, I hope these actions will encourage the citizens and residents to be cooperative with the government’s decision.
The situation of OFWs in China
In the Philippines, the Department of Health reported 128 new COVID-19 cases with seven additional deaths and no recoveries. It brings to a total record of 1,546 cases with 78 deaths and 42 recoveries. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases decreased.
The Philippine Ambassador in China Jose Santiago “Chito” Sta. Romana said that the Overseas Filipino Workers in China are free from coronavirus infections. However, many of them are experiencing economic difficulties due to the “No Work, No Pay” situation. Therefore, the OFWs reached out to the Department of Labor and Employment for financial assistance.
While they are waiting for the COVID-19 situation to normalize completely, they stopped working or do not have work at all. The Filipino teachers’ employers only give them living allowance and not salaries due to the suspension of classes.
However, DOLE reassured the Filipino repatriates from countries affected with COVID-19 disease that they will give livelihood, financial, and employment assistance. They also prepared a “reintegration program” consisting of 20,000 pesos worth of livelihood and financial assistance for those OFWs who decided to stay in the Philippines for good.
Moreover, Sta. Romana affirmed that the Philippines must learn how China handled their COVID-19 crisis through early detection by testing and early isolation of the infected individuals. It is to prevent the patients in the hospitals from infecting each other. In this way, we can learn how to manage the COVID-19 situation in the Philippines.
The country of China has dealt with the COVID-19 health crisis for a longer time than any other country. With that, I believe that they have sufficient knowledge to share with the world to improve their COVID-19 situation. The cooperation between countries is the ultimate cure to every crisis in the world.
“Ang Panginoon ang aking ilaw at tagapaligtas.”Salmo 27:1
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