April 18, 2020 Saturday
As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being redirected to something better.-Steve Maraboli
As the numbers of COVID-19 patients continue to rise, every government entity in the globe has seen fit to restrict travel and close their borders for visitors and tourists. This poses a big problem for our Kuwaiti brothers and sisters worldwide, as they are unable to return home and subsequently find themselves isolated as strangers in a foreign land. As such, the Government of Kuwait exercised its power accordingly and implemented measures to help its citizens safely to their homes in Kuwait.
In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health announced 93 new COVID-19 cases with 22 additional recoveries, and one additional coronavirus death being recorded. This brings to a total tally of 1751 cases with 280 recovered cases and six deaths. Within the new instances, eighty-three of them had contact with confirmed cases with 1 being a Kuwaiti national, 64 cases of Indian residents, six instances of Bangladeshi residents, five instances of Egyptian residents, 3 Pakistani residents, two instances of Nepali residents, 1 American resident, and one case of Yemini resident. Other cases include 2 Kuwaiti nationals, 2 Jordanian residents, 2 Filipinos, 1 Omani resident, 1 Egyptian resident, 1 Afghan resident, and 1 case of Syrian resident.
One thousand, four hundred and sixty-five patients are currently receiving medical treatment, while 34 are in the intensive care unit with 18 cases being critical; another 16 are stable in the last 24 hours, and three more were transferred to the ICU. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases decreased.
Repatriation for Domestic Workers
Today marks the 38th day of quarantine and the 28th day of the curfew. As of now, The Public Authority for Manpower, which was subsequently represented by the Labor Protection Sector and Labor Relations Department, released a statement that most of the domestic workers who are currently residing in the worker’s shelter in the Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh Area have already completed processing their repatriation procedures. Of these workers, 30 women of varying nationalities have not yet completed the required procedures. There are currently 430 workers in the said shelter, and 400 of them have already finalized their voluntary return procedures after having ensured that they received their full dues from their employers before returning home.
These efforts are in light of direct orders from Minister of Social Affairs and Minister of State for Economic Affairs Mariam Al-Aqeel, Director General of the Authority Ahmed Al-Mousa, and his Deputy for Labor Protection Sector Dr. Mubarak Al-Azmi to ensure the swift repatriation of the aforementioned female domestic workers. Accordingly, The Joint Quartet Committee, along with the PAM and representatives from the Ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs, spearheaded in the initiative to carry out surprise inspection campaigns, which led to the arrest of 350 violating migrant workers and the issuance of the closure of 21 institutions in four governorates.
This Saturday, the Minister of Health, Dr. Basil Al- Sabah together with the Undersecretary of Technology Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Mutairi and the dental representative Dr. Meshal Al-Kandari carried out and inspection of Medical teams in order to assess their readiness for evacuation.
This was conducted on the site of receiving evacuation aircraft at the T4 airport. They also stressed that the authorities must be aware of the preparedness of both medical personnel and equipment and inspection centers in order for them to efficiently receive evacuation planes.
In a statement released to the press, the Regional Director of the World Health Organization, Dr. Ahmad Al-Manzari, expressed his praise towards the Government of Kuwait’s measures in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. He described the response as being swift, decisive, and inclusive of its citizens and expatriates. This came in light of an interview conducted by the Kuwait News Agency during the sidelines of an online discussion administered by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development under the title, “Towards a Flat Curve: The Global Response to the Coronavirus. During this discussion, international speakers from all over the globe shared their challenges and experiences regarding the fight against the virus.
I have also noticed the high level of coordination of health authorities and Kuwaiti Ministries in dealing with this pandemic. Not only does the government provide generous support to the healthcare sector of the country in this pandemic, but they are also constant with their collaboration and consultation of medical professionals in implementing the legislation and procedures for stemming the number of infections.
As the Government of Kuwait continues its fight with the pandemic, I advise everyone to remain in their homes, follow quarantine protocols, and refrain from doing self-medication to prevent or treat the virus. The scientific community is already making extensive efforts to find a cure with several clinical trials already underway. I encourage everyone to put their trust in our health authorities and our government as they are unwavering in their resolve to bring about the betterment of the Kuwaiti people.
Violations During Quarantine
This Saturday, the Ministry of Trade and Industry released a statement to the Kuwait News Agency that they have recently issued the closure of a commercial store, and seven others have already been issued warnings for violating the quarantine protocols and guidelines set by the Ministry in fighting the Coronavirus. Furthermore, they sent inspection teams to examine the 3228 cooperative societies, a supermarket, commercial stores and vegetable shops in the vicinity to make sure that they were implementing the appropriate prices for the various goods and services they sold
During this pandemic, I encourage everyone to remain in the relative safety of their homes in order to avoid violating the quarantine protocols. These rules and guidelines have been set by the government authorities in order to prevent the spread of the virus and also for the common good of the Kuwaiti people. As our medical and security personnel persist in their duties in the fight against this pandemic, it is of utmost importance that we offer our cooperation in this crisis so that we may all come out of this together.
Updates from the Philippine Embassy
In the Philippines, the Department of Health announced 209 new COVID-19 cases with ten additional deaths and twenty-nine recoveries. It brings to a total tally of 6,087cases with 397 fatalities and 516 recovered incidents. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases increased.
This Saturday. The Philippine Embassy released a statement that sought to inform the Filipino community that its office hours from 13 to April 23, 2020, are from 9:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. only. This is in light of the Kuwaiti government’s latest extension of its official holidays to combat the Coronavirus.
The Embassy also informs the Filipino community that the following frontline services will not be provided on the dates mentioned above.
- Passport renewal application
- Passport claiming/releasing (non-emergency cases)
- Philippine Visa application
- Notarization and authentication of documents
- Civil registration (Report of Marriage and Death)
- Civil weddings, and requests for solemnization of marriage
- Overseas voter registration
- Embassy Assisted Repatriation Program (EARP)
During these dates, the Embassy will remain open for the following:
- Passport claiming/releasing (emergency cases)
- Travel Document and Report of Birth issuances (for the Kuwait Amnesty Program)
- Assistance-to-Nationals (ATN) services except for the EARP
As the Philippine and Kuwaiti governments continue their efforts in helping our Filipino brothers and sisters in Kuwait to return home safely to their families, I encourage everyone to abide by the rules and guidelines of the quarantine and to continues staying at home in order to avoid spreading the virus. I am relieved that the repatriation of our OFW’s remains our government’s top priority.
I am also thankful to the Kuwaiti Government for relying on sound and scientifically proven methods in dealing with the Coronavirus. Not only have they successfully implemented quarantine protocols, but they have also tempered the rigor of the law with human compassion. This is seen in the actions of Kuwait Security and Medical Personnel. They continue to provide the necessary food and medical supplies and services, especially to the most marginalized and disenfranchised members of the Kuwaiti society.
Ang Dios ay ating ampunan at kalakasan, handang saklolo sa kabagabagan.Kaya’t hindi tayo matatakot bagaman ang lupa ay mabago, at bagaman ang mga bundok ay mangaglipat sa kagitnaan ng mga dagat;Bagaman ang tubig niyaon ay magsihugong at mabagabag. Bagaman ang mga bundok ay mangauga dahil sa unos niyaon.(Selah) Mga Awit 46:1-3
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