April 10, 2020, Friday
We live in an interconnected world, in an interrelated time, and we need holistic solutions.Naomi Klein
The importance of having a robust healthcare system has never been more relevant during this pandemic. Although the Government of Kuwait is continuously expanding its capabilities regarding healthcare, it is also important to note that the establishment of an efficient supply chain to facilitate the distribution of these medical services and equipment in the sectors where they are needed the most.
In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health announced 83 new COVID-19 cases with 12 additional recoveries. This brings to a total tally of 993 cases with 123 recovered cases. Within the latest cases, two of them were Kuwaiti nationals who traveled to the United Kingdom. Seventy-seven had contact with confirmed cases with 1 being a Kuwaiti national, 51 cases of Indian residents, 7 instances of Bangladeshi residents, 8 cases of Pakistani residents, 1 Syrian resident, 3 Egyptians, 1 Filipino, and 5 Nepali residents. Four are currently under investigation with two cases of Kuwaiti nationals, 1 Egyptian 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 increased.
Distribution of Medical Services in the Pandemic
Today marks the 30th day of the quarantine and the 20th day of curfew, and throughout the pandemic, the Government of Kuwait has thoroughly recognized the importance of the swift and efficient distribution of medical supplies in the areas most affected by the virus. As such, the Ministry of Health released a statement that it has recently approved the decision to allow all licensed pharmacies in Kuwait to operate and participate in the delivery of medicines and services 24 hours a day, and special permits were given to these institutions.
The Defense Ministry also released a statement that a Kuwaiti military plane from Bangladesh containing much-needed emergency medical supplies has safely landed in the country this Friday. This move was part of the Defense and Health Ministry’s strategy to ensure that the country has the necessary medical supplies that front line medical personnel need in the fight against the virus.
Speaking of cooperation, the Kuwait Health Minister Sheik Dr. Bassel Al-Sabah released a statement on a press release, which encouraged all individuals who have successfully recovered from the virus to assist in the coronavirus combat operations by donating their blood. This comes after a successful and medically proven treatment of infected persons, which made use of antibodies extracted from the plasma of recovered individuals.
The Kuwait Central Blood Blank has also ramped up its efforts to produce artificial plasma to help treat patients suffering from COVID-19. According to the Director of The Kuwait Central Blood Blank Blood Transfusion Division Dr. Reem Al-Radhwan, the process of collecting blood plasma from former COVID-19 patients and then transferring it to currently infected individuals helped in strengthening their immunity. She explained that these measures are all in accordance with the standards of the World Health Organization and the American Association of Blood Banks, which stated that the plasma donation should begin after the end of the home quarantine. This is because when a person is infected with the virus, their immune system begins to manufacture antibodies in order to face the enemy. In the case of the Coronavirus, a former patient keeps a higher level of antibodies three weeks after recovery. Thus, the plasma generating process requires setting a time schedule for each donor, noting that a recovered person can help treat three patients.
I am gladdened and relieved that the government authorities have seized this initiative since there has been a chronic shortage of medical supplies all over the world because of the pandemic. These are indeed trying times, but I am confident that we can all get through this so long as we all help each other in facing this unseen adversary.
Violations During Quarantine
Today, the General Authority for Manpower, accompanied by the Kuwait Municipality, carried out an inspection campaign on the fish market in the Jleeb-Al-Shuyoukh area. The Cabinet Ministers and the Ministry of Health regarding the prohibition of selling fish with the exception of cooperatives societies did this after they received complaints from citizens for the sale and handling of fish products, which were in direct violation of the decision.
Security personnel from the Jleeb-Al-Shuyoukh area also managed to apprehend the driver of a refrigerated vehicle working for a private company after he attempted to smuggle six people out of the lockdown. In his defense, the driver said that the people who were with him were his colleagues from the same company, but upon the inspection of their IDs, they were found to be working in separate groups. All legal measures have now been taken against them.
Updates from the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait
In the Philippines, the Department of Health announced 119 new COVID-19 cases with eighteen additional deaths and sixteen recoveries. It brings to a total tally of 4,195 with 221 fatalities and 140 recovered cases. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases decreased.
The Philippine Embassy has released another statement regarding the amnesty program by the Government of Kuwait appealing to all undocumented Filipino Expatriates whose residency permits have already expired and also Filipinos with absconding cases to continue applying to the above-mentioned program. Those qualified are to proceed to the processing centers in Farwaniya on the 26th until April 30, 2020, from 8 AM until 2 PM.
Men and women will have separate processing centers with men being designated to the Muthanna Primary School for Boys, which on Farwaniya, Block 1 Street 122, and women on Farwaniya Primary School for Girls, which is on Farwaniya Block 1, street 76. The applicants who wish to avail of the amnesty to bring their valid passports and their luggage with specifications being one 7kg hand carry bag and a 20 kg bag for check-in.
Once approved, however, the amnesty grantees will no longer be allowed to leave the processing center. Thus it is advised that they collect all their belongings and finish any prior businesses before doing so. They will then be sent to a temporary shelter up until the time of their departure.
The President Rodrigo Duterte has also released a message to the Filipino people both in the country and abroad for the Holy Week. He calls for Catholics worldwide to see the challenges we face daily as an opportunity for prayer and reflection. We must always place our faith in the Lord and continuously remind ourselves to always move forward with peace and love in our hearts as we all strive to survive this pandemic.
I also wish to remind our Filipino brothers and sisters in Kuwait to stay safe and healthy until such time that they are finally allowed to board their respective flights. It is also essential that we all follow the guidelines set by the Government of Kuwait to prevent the spread of the virus. We need to continue to believe, and we need to continue to rely upon the fact that God is going to care for us.
At sa akin, upang ako’y pagkalooban ng pananalita sa pagbubuka ng aking bibig, upang ipakilalang may katapangan ang hiwaga ng evangelio,Na dahil dito ako’y isang sugong natatanikalaan; upang sa ganito ako’y magsalita na may katapangan gaya ng nararapat na aking salitain.
Mga Taga Efeso 6:19, 20
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