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CORONAVIRUS:KUWAIT OFW QUARANTINE DAY #44- Ensuring the Implementation of Quarantine Protocols

April 24, 2020, Friday

“Every time a crisis arrives at the doorstep of humanity, remind yourself – I am what stands between humanity and injustice – I am what stands between humanity and discrimination and disparities – I am what stands between humanity and dictators.” 

― Abhijit Naska

Since the beginning of Kuwait’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic, it has implemented a wide variety of precautionary health measures to curb the rate of infection amongst its citizens. Due to the effectiveness of these measures, the authorities and citizens of Kuwait must remain committed to adhering to these rules and guidelines to preserve the health and safety of society.

In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health announced 215 new COVID-19 cases with 115 additional recoveries, and one further coronavirus death being recorded. This brings to a total tally of 2614 cases with 613 recovered cases and 15 deaths. Within the new evidence, seven were related to all of them being Kuwaiti nationals who traveled to the United Kingdom. One hundred and ninety-eight of them had contact with confirmed cases with 8 being Kuwaiti nationals, 85 cases of Indian residents, 25 instances of Bangladeshi residents, 31 cases of Egyptian residents, 4 cases of Sri Lankan residents, 4 Lebanese residents, 25 Pakistani residents, 3 N.K. residents, 1 Sri Lankan residents, 5 Nepali resident, 3 Iranian residents, 1 K.S.A. resident, 1 Syrian, 1 Sudanese resident, and one case of an American resident. Other cases include 6 cases Kuwaiti nationals, 1 N.K. resident, 1 Yemeni resident, 1 Ethiopian resident, and 1 Sri Lankan resident.

 One thousand, nine hundred and eighty-six patients are currently receiving medical treatment, while 60 are in the intensive care unit with 27 cases being critical; another 33 are stable in the last 24 hours, and seven more cases being transferred to the I.C.U. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases increased. 

Supervision of Quarantine Procedures Today marks the 44th day of the quarantine, the 34th day of curfew, and Ramadan’s second day. Since then, the governor of the capital Sheikh Talal Al-Khaled facilitated in the examination of three residential buildings in Bnied Al-Gar on whether or not they were complying with quarantine protocols. Along with the region’s Commander, Colonel Muhammad Mahdi Al-Ajmi, and his security staff, they secured the area and cordoned off the said buildings and installed a security fence in the immediate area while preventative health sector officials at the Ministry of Health facilitated in implementing the mandatory quarantine procedures.

Al-Khaled stressed the importance of a necessity in implementing the precautionary health measures and adhering to the protocols set by the Ministry of Health in taking the necessary steps to preserve the health and safety of the Kuwaiti citizens.

On this Holy Month of Ramadan, The Ministry of Interior has taken upon itself to congratulate His Highness Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad and His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled to all citizens and residents of Kuwait. Since then, the authorities have appealed to the general public of Kuwait to respect the rules and traditions of fasting during the Holy Month of Ramadan. As such, individuals caught eating in public during the days of the Muslim fasting of Ramadan risk jailing and a fine, according to the law No. (44/1968), fast-breaking in public during this period is an offense punishable by a maximum of one month in prison or a fine of KD100 or one of these penalties.

As our Muslim brothers and sisters all over the world come in unison to celebrate the Ramadan, those of us who are non-Muslims must always practice and exercise cultural and religious sensitivity as they persist in their fasting and prayers. This occasion is especially important for them, and we must accord them the same respect we would like to have should we be in their shoes and as we strive together during this crisis, it is essential that we spread a message not only of hope but that of tolerance and respect as well.

Reports Regarding Infected Individuals

            This Friday, the Chairman of the Shamiya Society Chairman, Saleh Al-Thiab, released a statement to the press, which announced that 3 of the volunteers of the Shamiya Co-Op volunteers were infected with the COVID-19 virus. As such, the aforementioned cooperative and all its corresponding subsidiaries and affiliated branches are to be closed in order to undergo the procedures for its sterilization. The said process was said to take two days; however, home delivery services are still afoot. Meanwhile, the health authorities reported that the Asian worker who was suspected to be carrying the coronavirus in the Shamiya society has already been referred to the Amiri Hospital.

 Furthermore, there have been reports in the news that three nurses who were affiliated with the Al-Sabah district were also infected with the coronavirus and have since then been transferred to the Jaber Al-Ahmad Hospital. Subsequently, swabs were also taken from 9 nurses who came in contact with the infected personnel in order to determine whether or not they were infected with the virus. They have already been subjected to a home quarantine and await further instructions from the health authorities.

The Kuwait National Petroleum Company also released a statement to the press, which announced that the worker of a subcontracting company had been infected with the COVID 19. Reports conclude that the infected individual is of Indian nationality and is currently working in one of the projects affiliated to the Mina Al-Ahmadi Refinery. After displaying symptoms of the disease, he visited a hospital where a medical examination was conducted and subsequently proved that he was indeed infected with the virus. Due to these unfortunate events, the workers who were affiliated with the aforementioned project have already been temporarily suspended in order to ensure their safety until such time a precautionary investigation and contact tracing was completed.

Violations During Quarantine

As of this Thursday, Kuwait’s security personnel have apprehended two Indian expatriates for having violated the partial curfew without any permits or justification from the capitol governorate. The capitol’s security personnel on a routine patrol spotted the two as they were caught taking a casual stroll in the streets shortly before sunset. They were then stopped and asked to verify their identity to which they were discovered to be of Indian nationality. Upon further questions, it was later found that they were only taking a leisurely walk. The security staff then referred the violators to the relevant authorities, and legal action will soon be taken upon them.

Updates from the Philippine Embassy

In the Philippines, the Department of Health announced 211 new COVID-19 cases with fifteen additional deaths and forty recoveries. It brings to a total tally of 7,192 cases with 477 fatalities and 762 recovered incidents. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases decreased.

Update of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines on April 24, 2020

The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait also released a statement, which declared Manila’s financial program to help Filipinos in dire need during the lockdown caused by COVID-19. The Embassy will distribute money amounting to $200 to Filipinos who were displaced and laid off by their employers, are currently jobless, or are not being paid by employers. The Embassy has tapped the assistance of all Filipino organizations in Kuwait to deliver the food relief packages to Filipinos in Kuwait, which is currently being done per governorate in order to facilitate the ease of distribution.

Today, the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait released an advisory, which wishes to remind the Filipino community in Kuwait especially those with expired visas to apply for an online survey for the possible repatriation of Visa 14 and 22 holders especially to the ones who currently do not have airline tickets with them and are unable to leave Kuwait. They are requested to visit the Google link in the advisory below, and those who wish to take part are required to upload a clear photo of their Visa 14 and 22 on their passports.

Public Advisory from the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait Regarding the Online Survey

The deadline for the survey is on Saturday this April 25, 2020, 11:59 PM. There are no final repatriation details yet. However, those who took part in the survey are advised to follow the Embassy’s official website in order to stay up to date with future updates regarding their repatriation.

The President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has also delivered a message for all our Muslim brothers and sisters in the Philippines, Kuwait, and all over the world currently celebrating the Ramadan. He expresses his fervent hope that the sacred texts of Allah would lead everyone to pursue a life of purity and clarity. Likewise, he hopes that the sacrifices and prayers of the Muslim community would reaffirm their commitment to fostering the relations and solidarity among everyone regardless of their faith and creed.

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude towards the Philippine Embassy, the Governments of Kuwait and the Philippines and to all the individuals who offered their assistance in the repatriation of our O.F.W.’s and also for their support in the food drives which went a long way in helping our fellow Filipinos in the pandemic. Their organized and combined efforts helped bring about the easy mobilization and delivery of these much-needed goods and services.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging, and it has undoubtedly put significant pressure on all our government agencies and other essential services. Nevertheless, our governments have been steadfast, and even now, they continue to devote their time and energy in containing this crisis. I am humbled by their dedication and sacrifice as they continue to risk their own lives for the benefit of our two countries. My fervent hope is that they remain steadfast in their commitment to providing our citizens and expatriates with the best services. I also wish to thank those unsung volunteers who have rendered their aid in distributing relief packages for our displaced O.F.W.’s in Kuwait. Let us all continue this spirit of cooperation and solidarity, especially during the Holy Month of Ramadan. Together, I am sure that we can make it through this crisis.

Sapagka’t ikaw ay naging ampunan sa dukha, ampunan sa mapagkailangan sa kaniyang kahirapan, silongan sa bagyo, lilim sa init, pagka ang hihip ng mga kakilakilabot ay parang bagyo laban sa kuta. 

Isaias 25:4


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