June 16, 2020
“The history of public health might well be written as a record of successive redefining of the unacceptable.”Geoffrey Vickers
Like any other potential threats, the COVID-19 pandemic terrorizes the safety of public health. Every day, the number of new cases still increases. However, it is of great joy and relief that many countries are starting to gain more recoveries. It shows our gradual adaptation to the threat of coronavirus. For this, we can improve on how we take care of the public health of the community.
In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health logged on 527 new COVID-19 cases with five additional deaths and 675 recoveries. It brings to a total record of 36,958 cases with 303 fatalities and 28,206 recovered cases. Within the new cases, 264 are Kuwait citizens, 85 are Indian residents, 38 are Egyptian residents, and 32 are Bangladeshi residents. In the governorates, there are 168 cases in Al Ahmadi, 131 in Al Farwaniya, 101 in Al Jahra, 89 in Hawally, and 38 in the Capital. Among the residential areas, Mahboula ranks the highest with 29 coronavirus cases.
Currently, there are 8,449 active cases as it decreased from 8,602 in the previous report. Compared to yesterday, the new number of cases increased.
Updates of Weekly Cabinet Meeting
The Kuwait Cabinet conducted their weekly meeting led by His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled as they seek to review the implemented measures and efforts of the Kuwait government to combat the coronavirus health crisis. The Minister of Health Sheikh Dr, Basil Hammoud Al-Sabah discussed the developments of the COVID-19 situation of Kuwait. He showed the statistics of the emerging cases, recoveries, and fatalities in every governorate. Then, they found out that the rate of recoveries increased by more than 75 percent compared to the increase of total COVID-19 cases.
As the country will soon move to the second phase of the country’s return to normalcy, he urged all citizens and residents to comply with the health requirements. Their overall compliance will help the nation achieve its criteria and indicators to approve its shift to the second phase.
His Highness directed the General Authority for Manpower with the coordination of the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of Finance. They must analyze the required cost value for each expatriate worker whose contracts have ended; the residency law violators and those individuals whose employees commit to paying the number of their travel tickets.
On the other hand, he instructed the adoption of two guides for the guidelines on how to reopen the activities of the second and third phase that is presented by the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers. He also agreed to resume the training for sports activities only. However, they must adhere stringently to the health requirements and deadlines of the practice activities.
The Significance of Cooperation
The COVID-19 situation in Kuwait continues to improve in recent days as active cases continue to decrease. His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah emphasized the importance of the ongoing coordination between the National Assembly and the government in implementing necessary health guidelines and prioritizing public health above all considerations. He urged the legislators to conduct their discussions within two to three hours. It will set as an example to those individuals imposed with a curfew as they are confined in their houses for 20 days.
His Highness affirmed that the country still has not reached the safe zone as we face the coronavirus pandemic. According to him, the COVID-19 patients occupied 44 percent of the intensive care wards. He noted that the country must maintain sufficient medical personnel and teams against the coronavirus with the least damage as possible. A large number of coronavirus infections in the country are due to the non-compliance of some citizens and residents. Therefore, he appealed to the community about the necessity of their cooperation.
Blocking Landlord Accounts Due to Financial Dues
The Ministry of Electricity and Water announced their decision to block the transactions of landlords who failed to pay their maintenance fees until they make their payment. It is to address the landlords of commercial and investment buildings in the failure of their payments. Therefore, the Ministry will deal with these landlords the same way they dealt with the contracting companies that caused significant damage to their power cable as they carried out their job.
Until they can pay their financial dues, the Ministry will continue to block their accounts. In one of the buildings in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, the Ministry disconnected their power supply to the unsettled dues. However, due to humanitarian reasons, the Ministry reconnected its power supply and blocked the landlord’s account.
I understand the possible reasons why some landlords cannot pay their financial dues because most of their tenants don’t have the financial capacity to pay their rents. It is because of the “No Work, No Pay” situation, especially in isolated areas. I hope that they will further understand the tenants’ critical condition in the buildings as they wait for their isolation protocol to be lifted.
COVID-Situation in the Country
It is saddening to know that more cooperative employees contracted the virus. Twenty workers from the Jabriya Cooperative Society tested positive for coronavirus infection. In the Ishbiliya Cooperative Society, 13 of its employees also contracted the coronavirus disease. The authorities immediately conducted sterilization in its branches to ensure the safety of the customers and its other employees.
The authorities continued to conduct food distributions to the citizens and residents of Hawally, as shown in the video. The security officials facilitated the distribution to ensure the compliance of precautionary health measures as the people received their food packages. I am glad that they gradually organized these events to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.
Today marks the 16th day of the government’s first-phase plan. The significant decrease of the active cases in the country is a useful marker of the fruits of the labor of our frontliners and the Kuwaiti government. I commend their unceasing efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease. As our transition to the second phase comes closer, I hope that we will cooperate more with the government’s preventive measures.
Update of the Financial Assistance Distribution
The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait informs the Filipino community of Kuwait that the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) on giving cash assistance worth KD61.500 to all displaced OFWs in Kuwait. From the previous report that 10,000 OFWs successfully received the beneficiaries from the DOLE-AKAP Program. However, I am thankful that the POLO personnel reported that it increased to 20,000 displaced OFWs, who accepted the financial assistance.
Repatriation of Overseas Filipinos from Six Countries
According to the recent figures, the newly reported recoveries are the highest since the first outbreak of coronavirus. I am glad that the recoveries of the county are catching up. As the countries started to relax from the community quarantine measures, its economy will start its revival gradually. Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire further reminded the public to remain vigilant and comply with all preventive measures against the infectious disease.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported 455 new COVID-19 cases of Overseas Filipinos with 16 additional deaths and 366 recoveries. It brings to a total record of 6,021 cases with 442 fatalities and 2,833 recovered cases. Currently, 2,746 cases are receiving medical treatment of which 89 are in the Asia Pacific region, 2,011 in the Middle East/Africa, 448 in Europe, and 158 in the Americas.
Additionally, DFA announced the successful arrival of 2,281 Overseas Filipinos from six different countries. It includes Filipinos from Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Germany, Netherlands, and Barbados. They arrived through separate flights in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminals 1 and 2.
Upon their arrival, the health authorities immediately conducted COVID-19 testing on the repatriates. However, they exempted the seafarers from Barbados since their manning agency did their COVID-19 testing at their quarantine facilitated provided by a private agency. Then, the concerned personnel briefed them about the quarantine protocols imposed in the country where they will be sent to undergo mandatory quarantine under the guidelines implemented by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Lastly, the coordination between the DFA, Philippine Embassies, and the consulates will seek to assist the return of our fellow Filipinos amidst this coronavirus health crisis. I am grateful for the efforts of the DFA in repatriating our fellow Filipinos back to their home country. As the Philippines continues its battle, these repatriates can be united with the comfort of their families and in their homes.
“Sinabi niya, “Dumating na ang takdang panahon! Malapit na ang paghahari ng Dios. Pagsisihan na ninyo ang inyong mga kasalanan at maniwala kayo sa Magandang Balita!””Marcos 1:15 ASND
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