May 22, 2020
“The purpose of government is to enable the people of a nation to live in safety and happiness. Government exists for the interests of the governed, not for the governors.”-Thomas Jefferson-
The outbreak of COVID-19 alerted the government of countries worldwide on its threat against the security of the citizens. With that, they offer everything they have to stop this pandemic crisis.
In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health reported 955 new COVID-19 cases with nine additional deaths and 310 recoveries. It brings to a total of 19,564 cases, with 138 deaths and 5,515 recovered cases. Within the new cases, 139 are Kuwait citizens, 319 are Indians, 196 are Egyptians, and 111 are Bangladeshis. In the governorates, there are 332 cases in Farwaniya, 197 in Hawally, 188 in Ahmadi, 126 in Capital, and 112 in Jahra. Among the residential areas, Farwaniya is the highest with 119 cases. Currently, there are 13,911 active cases in the country. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases decreased.
Announcement from His Highness the Amir
His Highness, the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, gave his address to the people of Kuwait for the upcoming advent of Eid Al-Fitr. First, he conveyed his congratulations to the residents and citizens for a happy occasion. Then, he expressed his felicitations on the coming Eid as he extends his good wishes to the Islamic and Arab nations.
He thanked and praised the Kuwaiti nationals, whom he described as heroes in this crisis as they dedicated themselves unceasingly for their homeland’s service. He also acknowledged the nationals for employing their sincere efforts as the country faced the COVID-19 disease since its first local outbreak.
Furthermore, His Highness the Amir expressed his deep admiration to all the activists for their great devotion to serving the nation day and night. It includes the medics and health personnel, the firemen, all the personnel serving different vital sectors, private and state authorities, the concerned ministries, and the cooperative and charitable associations. They devotedly work for the nation to contain the pandemic.
Lastly, he said that it is necessary to remember those who passed away with pride and deep appreciation as they faced the pandemic crisis. From that, we can consider them as martyrs in the heavens.
His Highness the Amir is a man of gratitude towards his constituents and the people of Kuwait. I commended him for encouraging the vital sectors of the country to continue their unceasing duty for the welfare of the citizens and residents. In this critical time of the pandemic, each of us needs encouragement to keep our lives despite the immense challenges.
Kuwait’s Response to the Pandemic
The World Health Organization described the response of the State of Kuwait against COVID-19 disease as “decisive, rapid and comprehensive.” The country succeeded in risk assessments, which improved the country’s ability to address possible shortcomings. Director of Infectious Hazard Manage Program Dr. Abdulnasser Abu Baker stated that when the COVID-19 crisis started, the State of Kuwait formed immediately three high-level committees. It boosted the monitoring system of the country against the pandemic.
He further said that the country activated the pandemic prevention protocol in the healthcare establishments and strengthened their active monitoring in border crossings, hospitals, and clinics. The country trained health workers at frontlines, collected the data of all people returning from affected countries, conducted contact tracing with infected persons for quarantine isolation, and raised public awareness of the country’s people. Abu Baker thanked the Kuwaiti government momentously for their donation to the World Health Organization, which helped them much in fighting the pandemic.
When asked about the pandemic vaccine, Abu Baker said that the process would take between 12 to 18 months. Currently, there are 80 tested vaccines. Six of them are undergoing clinical trials. Meanwhile, he warned about the lifting of movement restrictions in the country to avoid a second wave of the COVID-19 virus. He further confirmed that isolation and physical distancing are effective in preventing the spread of the virus. It includes as well the stay-home rule, partial closure of establishments, curfew, and lockdown as effective tools against the virus.
The statement from the World Health Organization towards the response of the Kuwaiti government is very accurate. The country is quick to implement the precautionary measures, which resulted in fewer cases in the first days of the outbreak. The financial assistance given by the government played a great role in helping the fight against COVID-19 worldwide.
Closure of Another Cooperative
The Bayan Cooperative Society officially closed until further notice because four of their workers tested positive of COVID-19 disease. It is sad to know that a single cooperative will close almost every day due to COVID-19 infection to its workers. These establishments facilitated the availability of basic commodities and foodstuffs for the community. I commend the heroic duty of these people in providing the necessities of the citizens and residents.
Efforts of the Frontliners
The Ministry of Interior reported that they caught 20 people violating the curfew law. Five of these violators were expatriates from various nationalities, and 15 of them were Kuwaiti nationals. Two of them came from Capital, 3 in Hawally, 3 in Jahra, 1 in Mubarak Al Kaber, and 11 in Ahmadi. The Interior ministry filed these people with legal action against the curfew law.
Since the local transmission began in the country, the security forces and concerned authorities worked day and night to serve the community. These videos show the valiant acts of our frontliners as they ensure the security and safety of the citizens. These security personnel played a significant role in maintaining peace and order in the community from the implementation of precautionary measures to food distributions. It is evident in these videos the unceasing devotion of the frontliners.
The videos are very heart-warming as they portray the coordination of the people and the security personnel. Despite the high risk that they face every day, I give my greatest salute to the authorities for their continuous service. Today marks the 60th day of the curfew, 28th day of the Ramadan, and 12th day of the total lockdown. For that, I have faith that they can provide the needs of the community.
Effectiveness of Enhance Community Quarantine
In the Philippines, the Department of Health reported 162 new COVID-19 cases with 11 additional deaths and 92 recoveries. It brings to a total tally of 13,597 cases, with 857 deaths and 3,082 recovered cases. Within the new cases, 91 of them came from the National Capital Region, 56 came from Region 7, and 16 came from the other provinces. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of COVID-19 cases decreased.
The Department of Foreign Affairs reported that the total number of Filipinos abroad infected with COVID-19 disease reached 2,504 after they added 43 confirmed cases today. The department recorded five new recovered cases in the Americas, the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region. The total tally stands at 866 recoveries. On the other hand, the Middle East reported two new Filipino deaths raising the toll to 287. Overall, there are 456 cases in the Asia Pacific Region, 770 in Europe, 719 in the Middle East, and 559 in the Americas.
The imposition of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) suspended many business establishments and schools and upended the daily life of many Filipino citizens. However, it played a major role in reducing local transmission and daily deaths due to COVID-19 disease. A report published by the University of the Philippines affirmed that the country’s rate of virus transmission decreased since the beginning of quarantine since last March until May. It concluded that ECQ proves to be successful despite limited contact tracing and testing.
The experts noted further that the positive trend is irreversible. However, the authorities still do not have control over the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus despite the decelerating transmission trend in other provinces. In the data presented by the Department of Health, the report stated that Cebu City and the National Capital Region show a high number of COVID-19 cases. For Batangas, Zamboanga City, and Davao City, the pandemic risk levels stay significant.
Furthermore, the experts appeal to the government to persist the significant restrictions in the National Capital Region, which is the most densely populated areas in the world and Cebu City. For the areas under general community quarantine (GCQ), the people need to be vigilant to detect new cases and prevent new outbreaks. Flattening the curve is not the ultimate goal but rather bend it downwards.
The good outcomes of the implementation of complete lockdown are starting to be evident in public. Since the outbreak in both governments, every action they implemented made huge improvements in handling their respective critical situations. I will express my gratitude to all the frontliners for their physical service and the government for their strategic measures. All of these things happen for the sole purpose of protecting our fellow compatriots.
“Pinalaya tayo ni Cristo sa ilalim ng kautusan. Kaya maninindigan kayo sa pananampalataya n’yo at huwag na kayong magpaaliping muli.”Galacia 5:1
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