May 29, 2020
“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”-Paul Meyer-
The confirmation of COVID-19 tests is vital to identify infected patients in every country. Because of the insufficiency of a country’s testing capacity, backlogs in the results can exist. With this, a state must immediately fix the problem to determine the actual number of cases within that day.
In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health announced 1,072 new COVID-19 cases with nine additional deaths and 575 recoveries. It brings to a total tally of 25,184 cases with 194 fatalities and 9,273 recovered cases. Within the new cases, 293 are Indian residents, 234 are Kuwait citizens, 147 are Bangladeshi residents, and 142 Egyptian residents. In the governorates, there are 353 cases in Farwaniya, 293 in Ahmadi, 223 in Jahra, 111 in Hawally, and 92 in the Capital. Among the residential areas, Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh has the highest number, with 93 cases. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new record of cases increased.
First Phase of the Plan
Following the meeting of the Kuwait Cabinet, the authorities organized a plan in starting the gradual return of the country. They decided to impose lockdown in Farwaniya, Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, Maidan Hawally, and Khaitan beginning on May 31, 2020. The rest of the regions will implement partial curfew from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am. The isolation of Jleeb and Mahboula will continue.
Meanwhile, they will allow the reopening of restaurants and cafes only for a drive-through and home delivery. All the auto parts stores, car showroom, car wash stations, and garages will resume its services as well as the mosques and worship places considering the compliance of precautionary health measures. These are all under the first phase out of the five-phase plan that the government organized. Every phase has a duration of three weeks.
Second Phase of the Plan
For the second phase, the government will allow the return of work only in government agencies and private sectors, with 30% of its staff. Other permitted activities will include constructions, financial/banking, commercial complexes from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, retail stores, restaurants, and cafes with no dine-in and public parks and gardens.
Third Phase of the Plan
In the third phase, the authorities will allow 50% of the staff of the public and private sectors. Hotels, resorts, hotel apartments, taxis with one passenger, and Friday prayers in mosques will reopen.
Fourth Phase of the Plan
The government bodies and private sectors can operate with 50% of its staff in the fourth phase. They will allow restaurants and cafes to cater to dine-in and public transportation to resume but with strict social distancing.
Fifth Phase of the Plan
In the final stage, the private sectors and the government bodies can fully operate. The authorities will finally allow family visits, social gatherings, weddings, feasts, graduations, conferences, cultural exhibitions, training courses, health and sports clubs, cinemas, salons, and public sports fields to reopen.
The five-phase plan of the Kuwait government is commendable. They cautiously organized their strategy to prevent any second wave of the virus.
Preparation for the Five Phase Plan
The authorities will always ensure the safety of the people who will be visiting the mosques. Hence, they will sterilize the buildings before allowing the resumption of prayers in congregation. With the Ministry of Defense’s cooperation, they will disinfect the building, starting next Sunday, as the suspension of congregational prayer continues. Moreover, the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs, Advisor Dr. Fahd Al-Afasy, affirmed that they would allow the resumption of group prayers in common housing areas only.
As the authorities announced the new isolated areas, they started to set cemented barricades on all outlets, which prevents the workers without permits from moving out of the isolated regions. Other citizens and residents decided to transfer from the areas imposed with lockdown to the areas where work is available. A video also shows the closing of Hawally.
The level of compliance of the citizens and residents to the implemented curfew is starting to show up. It is because the areas that the government will impose curfew are the ones who have a high rate of COVID-19 cases. As long as everyone learns how to comply with the guideline, the cases will reduce significantly.
Kuwait’s Contribution to Coronavirus Global Response
On the other hand, the European Union Friday published the complete list of the nations who pledged at the Coronavirus Global Response virtual event with their specified amount. Among the list is Kuwait, which pledged USD 100 million. So far, the Coronavirus Global Response raised an overall amount of 9.8 billion euros or USD 10.8 billion, which is more than the expected outcome.
Kuwait ambassador to the European Union, Belgium, and North Atlantic Treaty Organization Jasem Albudaiwi said the participation of Kuwait in the global event is in line with the country’s framework of constructive interaction in cooperating with the international community.
Their significant contribution symbolizes the country’s global concern against COVID-19 disease. I appreciate the perspective of the Kuwait government to help international countries. As all countries become united, we can successfully defeat the pandemic.
Today marks the 66th day of the curfew and 18th day of the total lockdown. I give my thanks to both countries’ authorities as they carefully plan the country’s return to normalcy. With that, I have faith that someday we can get back to our normal days and enjoy our freedom outdoors.
Distinguishing fresh and late cases in Philippines
In the Philippines, the Department of Health announced 1,046 new COVID-19 cases with 21 additional deaths and 122 recoveries. It brings to a total record of 16,634 cases with 942 fatalities and 3,720 recovered cases. Within the new cases, 46 are fresh cases, while 1,000 are late cases. To distinguish the backlogs from the latest cases, the DOH divided the reported cases daily to “late cases” and “fresh cases”. The report today is the highest spike of cases in a single day.
The country’s new COVID-19 cases announced yesterday were very high. Department of Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire explained that the spike of daily cases yesterday is because of the “aggressive validation” of COVID-19 tests conducted in recent days. He clarified that they added the cases from previous days to the report yesterday, which increased the number to 539 cases on May 28, 2020.
As of now, the department collaborated with other laboratories to fast track the validation of data to catch up with the backlog from the previous days. They are expecting the continued rise of COVID-19 cases, as the health authorities will conduct more tests nationwide.
Several areas in the country shifted to different levels of community quarantine. However, Vergeire advised the public to embrace the new normal and remain vigilant against the spread of COVID-19. President Rodrigo Duterte announced that the government would place Davao City, Cagayan Valley, Pangasinan, Calabarzon, Albay, and Metro Manila under general community quarantine on June 1, 2020. They will also set the rest of the regions under modified general community quarantine.
On the update of the Overseas Filipino Workers’ return to their respective provinces, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana affirmed that they successfully sent 26,590 OFWs to their homes. They even exceeded the order of President Rodrigo Duterte, which is to send 24,000 OFWs back home. With the coordination of the transportation, interior, and labor departments, they were able to resolve the plight of the OFWs, who were stuck in Metro Manila. Moreover, the authorities are expecting 300,000 OFWs who will be returning to the country for their host countries have sent them home. Therefore, the national government will commit to expedite the release of COVID-19 tests results to accommodate the new batch of repatriates, who will be arriving this May and June.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported 24 new COVID-19 cases with six additional deaths and 11 recoveries. It brings to a total tally of 2,845 cases with 340 fatalities and 947 recovered cases. On the country’s repatriation program, the DFA assisted the return of 30,000 Filipinos to the Philippines in which 20,138 are seafarers from 97 cruise ships, and 10,403 are land-based workers.
As the Department of Health catches up with the backlog in COVID-19 tests, the cases continue to increase. For that, I commend their efforts in addressing the problem. With the increased number of laboratories, the authorities can issue the challenge gradually.
“Ang mapagkakatiwalaan sa maliit na bagay ay mapagkakatiwalaan din sa malaking bagay; ang mandaraya sa maliit na bagay ay manaraya rin sa malaking bagay.”Lukas 16:10
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