April 9, 2020, Thursday
We discover our greatness when we find ourselves in a situation more significant than we are, and we manage to grow and become bigger than the situation.– Luigina Sgarro
As the world goes through a pandemic and every citizen in the country is abiding by the quarantine guidelines and staying at home to avoid getting infected, it is understandable that people are getting worried about where they will get food. Supermarkets are now being closed, and many workers are also laid off due to the economic disruption brought by the virus.
In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health announced 55 new COVID-19 cases with no additional recoveries. This brings to a total tally of 910 cases with 111 recovered cases. Within the new cases, 51 had contact with confirmed cases, with 4 of them being Kuwaiti nationals, 36 cases of Indian residents, 6 cases of Bangladeshi residents, 2 cases of Pakistani residents, 1 Iranian resident, 1 Egyptian, and 1 Nepali resident. Four are currently under investigation with two cases of Kuwaiti nationals, 1 Indian resident and 1 Syrian resident. Seven hundred ninety-eight patients are presently receiving medical treatment, while 22 are in the intensive care unit, and no additional coronavirus deaths were recorded. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases decreased.
Ensuring the Food Supply of Citizens
Today marks the 29th day of quarantine and the 19th day of curfew, and as such, the Government of Kuwait has already laid out initiatives in order to ensure that their citizens, both immigrants, and expatriates alike, do not get hungry during this pandemic. Working together with the Ministries of Interior, Finance, Health, the Flour Mills Company and other charitable bodies, the Minister of Social Affairs and the Minister of State for Economic Affairs Maryam Al-Aqeel said in a press conference that food baskets will be disbursed to the expatriates and citizens in the areas of Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh and Mahboula which are currently under quarantine. The operations will be conducted in 5 places, and Al-Aqeel assures the public that these food baskets will be delivered on a daily basis along with the civil defense. Food and consumer goods will be delivered to ensure the welfare of the citizens in these regions.
I am very thankful to the Government of Kuwait, especially to the Prime Minister His Highness Sheikh Al-Khaled Sabah, for his compassion in providing our fellow expatriates with the food supplies and consumer goods that are needed for their survival.
Due to the strain that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on the government’s public health sector, The Ministry of Health released a statement that it is currently opening its doors for nurses, doctors, and other medical staff working in the private sector to volunteer in combating the pandemic. The doctors can apply at the office of the Assistant Undersecretary for Technical Affairs while the nurses can do so at the office of the Assistant Undersecretary for Medical Services. The applications will be open for medical professionals for three days starting this April 12. Each one of them must bring a copy of practicing licenses, the civil ID and a letter of approval of the company that they are currently employed to.
The government of Kuwait has also raised its efforts in the fight against the pandemic and has since then elevated its precautionary measures in containing the virus. These measures include the consideration in implementing a full curfew and hiring more medical workers as they plan on the resumption of state departments in a remote manner.
Al Mezrem also stated in an online press release that those authorities responsible for making the executive plans during the quarantine should also consider making operational plans on the implementation of a full curfew and also to minimize any hindrances that may obstruct its execution. He also made placed a significant emphasis on with the companies related to security and cleaning who have formed contracts with the Government of Kuwait to ensure the welfare of their constituents by paying them with the proper wages and making sure that they are living in humane and decent housing units. He also warned that the companies who fail to comply with these guidelines would receive legal action.
Since then, he has also approved the Ministry of Health’s initiative in expanding its capabilities in handling the pandemic by recruiting medical professionals from the private sector as well as the allocation of medical facilities for the use and isolation of COVID-19 patients. Furthermore, the government has also approved the Ministry of Commerce’s request to initiate an electronic application in order to prevent the formation of large gatherings, which contribute to the spread of the virus.
Regarding the status of the lockdown within the areas within Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh and Mahboula, the government has since then ensured the wellbeing of the inhabitants residing therein by providing them with the necessary medical services and food supplies in order for them to make it through the lockdown as well as maintain their health. Furthermore, the Deputy Premier, Interior Minister, and the Minister of State for Cabinet Anas Al-Saleh released a statement that His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah that he has already imposed an order to cut the passes that guarantee the movement of workers by half.
I am simply thankful and in awe of the Kuwaiti Government’s express concern for its citizens and expatriates. Not only are they continue expanding their abilities in staving off this pandemic, but they have also made sure that their citizens are also well provided for with both food and medical supplies.
Violations During the Quarantine
The Kuwait Ministry of Interior released a statement this Thursday that the police have recently arrested four expatriate workers for cutting the barbed wire fence in order to break out of the Mahboula Area in the Al-Ahmadi Governorate which is currently under lockdown. After interrogating the individuals in question, they confessed to the charges, and the legal processes to extradite them out of Kuwait are already ongoing.
The Juvenile Misdemeanor Court has also recently sentenced a teenager to 3 months of confinement in a juvenile penal institution for violating the curfew. With this in mind, I call on everyone to abide by the laws that the authorities have set in order to make sure that the pandemic does not spread any further. These laws and guidelines also serve not only to protect its citizens but also to the integrity of public health. Thus, we must show our conviction in respecting the laws of our land and enacting the societal responsibility that is required of us as law-abiding citizens.
Updates from the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait
In light of the current pandemic, the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait has decided to release an online survey appealing to Filipino Healthcare Workers in order to have a better grasp of the situation that our OFW’s are currently going through as well as the challenges they face daily.
The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait also joins the Filipino nation in the observance of Araw ng Kagitingan, marking the 78th anniversary of the Fall of Bataan during the Second World War.
President Rodrigo Duterte also released a statement from the Malacanang stating that he is one with the Philippines in commemorating the brave and gallant sacrifices that our soldiers made in Bataan so that we can enjoy the democracy that we have today. With that in mind, we must also draw strength and courage from our valiant ancestors, especially during this pandemic, which threatens the health of the public. We must also comply with the quarantine so that our front liners’ sacrifices, doctors, nurses, soldiers, janitors, and public health workers would not go to waste.
COVID-19 Updates in the Philippines
In the Philippines, the Department of Health announced 206 new COVID-19 cases with twenty-one additional deaths and twenty-eight recoveries. It brings to a total tally of 4,076 with 203 fatalities and 124 recovered incidents. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases increased.
The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait also joins the celebration of our Filipino Christian brothers and sisters in the Philippines, Kuwait, and around the world in remembering and honoring Christ’s passion this Holy Week.
For us Christians, this Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, the days before Easter commemorating the last days of Jesus Christ’s life. The Scriptures say that on Palm Sunday, Jesus rode into Jerusalem and was greeted by people who gave him a hero’s welcome during the Jewish Passover celebration. For us Filipinos, it is one of the most important celebrations of our Christian faith, for it is one of God’s highest expression of love and death doesn’t lead to despair, but also to life, abundant life, which leads to everlasting life.
This has never been more relevant, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic as we hunker down our homes, fearing for our lives. Right now, we live in a world full of fear, and a fearful world needs a message of hope, life, and a bright future and that we must always remember that God will provide and sustain us. A lot of our people may not be connected to the internet, so as a Filipinos throughout the world, we must call and pray for each other and make sure that our neighbor’s needs are being taken care of,
Datapuwa’t tatanggapin ninyo ang kapangyarihan, pagdating sa inyo ng Espiritu Santo: at kayo’y magiging mga saksi ko sa Jerusalem, at sa buong Judasa at Samaria, at hanggang sa kahulihulihang hangganan ng lupa.
Mga Gawa 1:8
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