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CORONAVIRUS:KUWAIT OFW QUARANTINE DAY #69 – Transforming Social Activities to Home Activities

May 19, 2020, Tuesday

“Allow the fires of transformation to burn away all that doesn’t serve you.”

Heather Ash Amara

COVID-19 pandemic has affected many countries worldwide. Due to the threat of the virus, people around the world are forced to stay home. In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health has reported 1,073 new COVID-19 cases with three additional deaths and 342 recoveries. It brings to a total of 16,764 cases, with 121 deaths and 4,681 recovered cases.

Within the new cases, 332 are Indian residents, 231 are Kuwait citizens, 181 are Egyptian residents, and 102 are Bangladeshi residents. In the governorates, there are 397 in Farwaniya, 258 in Ahmadi, 181 in Hawally, 124 in Jahra, and 113 in Capital. Among the residential areas, Farwaniya is the highest with 131 cases. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases has increased.

Update of COVID-19 cases in Kuwait May 19, 2020

The Ministry of Interior has urged the people to submit accurate curfew permits to the authorities. For the individuals who have an appointment with a doctor, they should register precise and complete information about their destinations so the authorities can issue them curfew permits avoiding the possible legal consequences. They can obtain the permit through this given link. https://curfew.paci.gov.kw.

Upon reaching the hospital, the person must give the curfew permit to the employees of the establishment for further verification. In this way, the person will be able to obtain another curfew permit in the future whenever the need arises. However, if the location mentioned in the permit does not match with the actual destination, the specified person will be banned from obtaining permits and be questioned by the authorities.

Curfew Permits by Ministry of Interior

The issuance of curfew permits is very useful for emergencies. In the implementation of lockdown, all citizens must stay at home. However, health emergencies will inevitably happen, especially to those people who have an underlying condition. The authorities have understood the critical situation of these citizens.

The Ministry of Interior has officially launched the smart helmet for the security forces. It is used to detect high fever, making that person a suspect the COVID-19 virus. The smart helmet is equipped with thermal sensors that can take the temperature of up to 200 people per minute.

Launching of the Smart Helmet

The launching of smart helmets is a good indication that the advancement of technology is used for the common good.  As we face this current crisis, the creative inventors have coped up with the world’s critical situation. The jobs of the frontliners will be more comfortable through these technological devices, for they do not have to move closer to the individuals for a temperature check.

Today marks the 25th day of the Ramadan. The Awqaf Ministry affirmed that they prefer the Eid-al-Fitr prayers at their homes instead of in the mosques. People gatherings are still banned in the country. Furthermore, the Ministry has conducted a survey on the opinions of several Muslim scholars by phone. The scholars have agreed that the audible prayers, consisting of “rak’atin” can be performed at their homes without the post-prayer sermon. According to the Ministry’s fatwa department, during the first rak’a the worshipper has to utter six “takbirat,” which is a statement of “Allahu Akbar” after “Takbiratul Al-Ihram” which is the inaugural part of the prayers. After that, one can start reading Surat Al-Fatiha. In the second one, there should be five takbirat after the stand-up takbira, which will be followed by Surat Al-Fatiha. They further added that the worshipper could perform prayers alone or along with their family members.

On the other hand, the Kuwait International Airport has prepared its reopening of operations to commercial flights according to the government’s instructions. It is reported that the General Administration of Civil Aviation has a prepared plan for the re-operation of the airport. Also, it asked the other departments to prepare the matters related to the gradual restart of the commercial flights to and from the Kuwait International Airport. It is to ensure the availability of work systems and the needed equipment.

 The authorities have conducted another food distribution in Mahboula. In the video, it is evident that physical distancing is not practiced within the crowd. It is sad to know that the citizens fail to comply with the Health Ministry’s precautionary measures. 

Food distribution in Mahboula

During the walking period of the day, the public streets of Farwaniya are filled with people gatherings. Many citizens are walking on the streets without physical distancing. These daily situations contribute to the ineffectiveness of total lockdown. 

Public Streets in Farwaniya

Undersecretary of Kuwait’s Ministry of Social Affairs Abdulaziz Shuaib has announced that cooperative stores are permitted to accept foodstuffs and farm produce from 2:00 am until 2:00 pm. The decision is meant to ensure the continuous supply of the cooperative stores for sufficient provision of fruits and vegetables. 

In the implementation of the total lockdown, the consumers can only shop in the cooperative stores once in six days. He noted that this implementation would ensure the availability of the basic commodities for the whole population. Lastly, he commended the cooperation of the union of cooperative stores in following the guidelines and their unceasing service to the consumers.

It is reported that the cashier from the Nuzha Cooperative has died due to COVID-19 disease. One employee has also confirmed positive in Riqqa Cooperative. Many cooperative societies are greatly affected by the disease. Because they are exposed to different buyers, they have a high risk of contracting the disease.

Another posted video shows how thankful the people are to the authorities of Kuwait. The individuals in the footage affirmed that they are all positive and under the quarantine protocols of the Kuwait government. They have been given free treatment and have successfully been discharged from the hospital. In the video, they have thanked the efforts of the Kuwait ministry for giving them free medical treatment and food for the last month.

Patients under quarantine thanking Kuwait Government

The video is very heart-warming as they have shown gratitude to the efforts of the government. It is not easy for the authorities to lead the whole country, especially amidst the pandemic.  

 In the Philippines, the Department of Health has announced 224 new COVID-19 cases with an additional six deaths and 114 recoveries. It brings to a total of 837 deaths and 2,843 recovered cases. Currently, there are 9,262 cases in the country. Compared to yesterday, the new number of COVID-19 cases has decreased. 

Update of COVID-19 cases in Philippines at May 19, 2020

Yesterday, the Philippine Coast Guard affirmed that there were Overseas Filipino Workers who left the quarantine facilities as they wait for the official releasing of their test results in their COVID-19 tests. Commodore Armando Balilo, the PCG Spokesperson, has said that these Overseas Filipino Workers who left will be arrested and face legal charges for violating quarantine protocols. They have also compromised the health and safety of their families and communities.

Today, the authorities can locate one of the eight OFWs who left the quarantine facilities. Within the group, one of them tested positive, which is a 49-year-old male worker. Meanwhile, the rest of the group tested negative. The search operations for the other seven OFWs are still ongoing. The Philippine Coast Guard has appealed to OFWs and their families to cooperate with the authorities and understand the strict protocols for the repatriated workers.

In addition to that, a female Filipino maid committed suicide by hanging herself. The incident happened at her sponsor’s home in Abdullah Al-Salem in Kuwait. The authorities discovered the act of suicide after her sponsors checked for her when she was late for her daily work. They found her in the bathroom with a rope in her neck. The security forces registered the incidence as a suicide case.

On the other hand, it is reported that more motorists have shown up through Metro Manila roads under the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine. As a response, the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) has deployed motorcycle-riding officers who will conduct random inspections on their roads. HPG director Brig. Gen. Eliseo Cruz said that HPG motorcycle drivers are directed to approach a motorist asking them to pull over. After that, they will be checked if they are an authorized individual. Lastly, he has affirmed that those caught as unauthorized persons or violating physical distancing inside vehicles during the random inspections and mobile checkpoints will be held accountable for violating the law. 

Today marks the 57th day of the curfew, 25th day of the Ramadan, and the 9th day of the total lockdown. Kuwait has a total of 16,764 COVID-19 cases, while the Philippines has 12,492 cases. I commend the leadership of both countries in mitigating the spread of the virus. With the cooperation of the citizens, these countries will be able to free themselves from the threat of COVID-19 disease.

“Ang lumalakad sa daan ng katuwiran at katapatan ay nagkakamit ng buhay at karangalan.”

Mga Kawikaan 21:21


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