May 28, 2020
“Truth is confirmed by inspection and delay; falsehood by haste and uncertainty.”-Tacitus-
As May ends, everyone hopes for his or her country to return to its standard days. However, the authorities are not reckless in lifting the implemented precautionary measures. Therefore, they decided to study and examine further the COVID-19 situation of their respective country.
In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health confirmed 845 new COVID-19 cases with ten additional deaths and 752 recoveries. It brings to a total record of 24,112 cases with 185 fatalities and 8,698 recovered cases. Within the new cases, 212 are Kuwait citizens, 208 are Indian residents, 161 are Bangladeshi residents, and 91 are Egyptian residents. In the governorates, there are 255 cases in Farwaniya, 222 in Ahmadi, 189 in Jahra, 96 in Hawally, and 83 in the Capital. Among the residential areas, Khaitan has the highest number of cases, which is at 85. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases increased.
Four-Chapter Guidelines Booklet
In preparation for the full resumption of work, the Civil Service Commission officially published a four-chapter guidelines booklet for the public sector executives and personnel in their re-operation of services. The booklet aims to set objectives of implemented measures, policies, and rules needed for their phased resumption. It includes the mechanisms for regular work hours, and the guideline on how can the various sectors lead their personnel and service applicants. It also contains the public safety requirements and precautionary measures that the staff of the sectors and the people seeking its services must follow.
The first phase of the booklet stated that the sectors must grant rest days to their employee, especially the pregnant individuals, nursing mothers, sick employees, the disabled, and those employees aged 55 and up. However, it exempts the leaders and supervisors of the sectors. Some workers can do partially or fully their jobs online at home. It is necessary to practice social distancing if there is a need to go to their workplaces.
The published guidelines are useful for employees who will be working back again. Through this, the government can relieve them from their worries of contracting the virus, especially that a vaccine is not yet available.
Opening of Quarantine Facility
The Undersecretary of the National Guard Lieutenant General Engineer Hashem Abdul-Razzaq Al-Rifai announced the official opening of a quarantine facility in Al-Samoud Camp. The facility aims to treat COVID-19 patients according to the National Guard. The building is consists of three floors with a 100-bed capacity equipped with all the medical equipment and personnel needed for COVID-19 treatment.
Checking of Cooperative Societies
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry announced the completion of inspecting 65 cooperative societies, pharmacies, and supermarkets to properly regulate food delivery, the flow of purchases, and price stability. In addition to that, they further visited 78 subsidized food outlets. Through this, the Ministry vowed that their inspection teams would continue to visit these establishments during the implementation of total lockdown. They also received 131 consumer complaints from their 135 hotline. To address the issue, the Ministry calls compliance with the establishments as they are on the lookout for the ones who will take advantage of this critical situation.
The authorities also reported that 118 workers of Mishref Cooperative tested positive of COVID-19. It is a significant number of infected workers in a single cooperative. I hope for the fast recovery of these modern heroes who served the country for the people to live during the lockdown.
Visiting Correctional Facilities
The Ministry of Interior Undersecretary Major General Essam Al-Naham conducted inspections of the prisoners’ situation in the country’s correctional facilities. They examined the imposed security and health measures for the well-being and health safety of the prisoners. Their procedures involve isolating the newcomers for four weeks and conducting swab tests to them. For the prisoners who contracted the virus, health facilities will provide them adequate medical care.
Guarding the Beaches and Seaside
Yesterday, many citizens and residents packed the seaside and beaches of the country during the walking period from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm. The authorities were alarmed to this, even leading them to prevent the use of beaches during the two-hour break. The video shows the Ministry of Interior officers guarding and conducting a patrol to the areas near the beaches.
I commend the immediate action of the security officials in securing the area. The unfortunate incident yesterday is very disappointing for it can propagate the spread of the virus. Through their presence and patrols, they can prevent the citizens and residents from gathering in the beaches.
The Security of Cyber Crime Department reported the arrest of a Sri Lankan resident who published a video insulting Kuwait’s Amir and the country’s decision against COVID-19 pandemic. Immediately, the concerned authorities charged her with legal action. These people lack respect for the leaders of the nation.
Today marks the 66th day of the curfew and 18th day of the total lockdown. The Kuwait government is doing its best to protect the country’s welfare and the safety of its citizens and residents. Instead, we should all cooperate with the government’s decisions to expedite the end of this crisis
Continuous Spike of Cases in Philippines
In the Philippines, the Department of Health reported 539 new COVID-19 cases with 17 additional deaths and 92 recoveries. It brings to a total record of 15,588 cases with 921 confirmed deaths and 3,598 successful recoveries. Within the new cases, 330 of them came from the National Capital Region, 55 from Region 7, 55 from the repatriates, and 99 from other provinces. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases drastically increased. Today is the highest single-day spike of reported cases. The increasing number of cases daily since May 22, 2020 is quite alarming.
As the country eases its community quarantine restrictions, the curfew regulations and checkpoints will continue as a part of the “new normal” situation to prevent further spread of the virus. As long as the COVID-19 is not available, health precautionary measures remain stringent in the community.
Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield (JTF CV Shield) commander, Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, affirmed that the COVID-19 threat still exists, which is why the authorities cannot easily lift the implementation of community quarantine. He further said that President Rodrigo Duterte only lifted some restrictions to pave the way for the economy to recover. It is because the country cannot risk implementing quarantine guidelines at the expense of losing our economy. Therefore, we must re-open the economy and make the situation into the most normal as possible. Lastly, he confirms the effectiveness of implementing community quarantine in lowering the number of infections and deaths, as stated by the experts from the University of the Philippines.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced the triumphant return of 16,000 Overseas Filipino Workers from different quarantine facilities. In the recent morning, they scheduled three flights to Dumaguete City, Davao City, and Puerto Princesa City and two ships to Dumaguete City, Cebu, Iligan, Ozamis City, and Zamboanga. On their return, the OFWs will undergo facility-based quarantine and COVID-19 tests in their respective provinces.
For the Filipinos outside the country, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced a sudden increase to 157 new COVID-19 cases raising the total tally to 2,281 cases. The department affirmed that the spike of cases comes from a single country in the Middle East where they updated their data after almost two months of no update. Basing on their reported data, the highest number of COVID-19 cases is the Middle East with 899 cases followed by Europe with 806 cases. At the same time, the most number of fatalities in the Americas with 150 cases.
It is a good thing that we are now slowly returning to our regular days. Nevertheless, I am not confident if it is the perfect time to lift the quarantine measures due to the continual increase of cases in both countries.
On the other hand, I am very thankful to the authorities for their timely decisions and efforts in handling the situation of the country. As long as we are cautious in returning our life to normalcy, we can foresee the possibility of winning in the world’s battle against COVID-19.
“Dahil itong buhay nami’y maikli lang na panahon, itanim sa isip namin upang kami ay dumunong.”Mga Awit 90:12
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