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CORONAVIRUS DIARIES: DAY #99 – Battling the COVID-19 Disease With Technology

June 18, 2020

“Technology is an important element in progress. See, we can always do something better. There is always progress forward using technology, and that is where innovation starts.”

Santiago Calatrava

Every day, we can see the advancement of our technology as different researchers conduct further studies on how we can use it to our advantage. As the COVID-19 pandemic threatened the whole world, our dedicated researchers and frontliners are finding ways to combat it effectively. It is in these dark times that we use the power of technology that is within our hands.

 In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health announced 541 new COVID-19 cases with two additional fatalities and 616 recoveries. It brings to a total record of 38,074 cases with 308 deaths and 29,512 recovered cases. Within the new cases, 283 are Kuwait citizens composing 52.31 percent, while  258 are residents of various nationalities, comprising 47.69 percent of the overall count. In the governorates, there are 153 cases in Al Ahmadi, 145 in Al Farwaniya, 100 in Al Jahra, 79 in Hawally, and 64 in the Capital. Among the residential areas, Jleeb Al-Shoyoukh is the highest with 35 cases.

Currently, 8,254 patients are receiving treatment as it continued to decrease from 8,331. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases decreased.

Update of COVID-19 cases in Kuwait on June 18, 2020

Utilizing ECMO Technology Against COVID-19 Disease

 As one of the country’s improvements in terms of medical treatment, the Al-Adan Hospital announced its first utilization of Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) technology for treating coronavirus infections. Specifically, they intend to use it for the children who contracted the disease. However, the Head of Al-Ahmadi Medical District Dr. Ahmad Al-Shatti said that using ECMO technology to treat COVID-19 disease is rare.

Kuwait Hospital Utilizing ECMO Technology

 Under the Health Ministry’s supervision, the medical staff of Al-Adan managed to treat the eight-year-old child with ECMO technology. The girl had a condition of acute lung infection as she received medical treatment utilizing ECMO for two weeks. Fortunately, the girl survived her critical situation and returned to the intensive care unit assigned for the children. Due to this case, Dr. Al-Shatti affirmed that they would discuss more expanding the use of ECMO technology. 

 I commend the valiant efforts of our frontliners in finding more alternatives for treating the infectious coronavirus disease. I am relieving to know that they managed to save a single coronavirus patient using ECMO technology. In these times, we are learning how to use the significance of technological devices in saving lives. I hope that they can conduct further research on its effectiveness to treat coronavirus patients. 

The entry of Truck Drivers in Safwan Border

Since the first month of the coronavirus outbreak in Kuwait, the authorities reopened the Safwan border to accommodate the entry of the stranded truck drivers. The Kuwait government did an excellent job of opening the border amid the coronavirus pandemic to receive the stranded truck drivers. In this way, they will be accommodated by our healthcare officials and check their physical health.

The Entry of Truck Drivers in Safwan Border

Reduction of Rate in Avenues Mall

            The COVID-19 pandemic affected the country’s economy significantly as the Kuwait authorities established necessary protocols to control the movement of the people. Without the potential buyers, the shops within the malls cannot earn sales. However, the concerned authorities reported the reduction of the rate for the tenants in Avenues Mall. They planned to reduce it by 50 percent for July and August.

Reduction of Rent by 50 Percent in Avenues Mall

 This is excellent news to all the tenants of the Avenues Mall, who are still paying 100 percent on their rents during this health crisis. It is a great help in their financial needs as they can allot their limited financial resources for their needs.

COVID-19 Situation in the Country

 The coronavirus situation continues to improve as the decrease of active cases in the country remains steady. Within the community, the authorities conducted another food distribution for the citizens and residents in Khaitan. The video shows long queues of people as they patiently wait to receive the government’s relief goods. 

Food Distribution in Khaitan

The lack of physical distancing between each line disappoints me as it could contribute to further transmission of coronavirus disease. I hope that the security officials facilitated the distribution to promote crowd control during the event.

 Within the isolated areas, the Council of Ministers followed up on the recent reports of the region’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. They decided to lift the isolation protocol in the Hawally area. The authorities will provide further details about their discussion of specific information for the second phase plan implementation. It will include the hours of curfew and the lifting of isolation protocols in the regions. 

Today marks the 19th day of the first phase implemented by the government. The whole country will soon be shifting to the second phase if the criteria of the government have been achieved. I pray that these critical circumstances of ours will improve more so each of the citizens and residents can return to their respective jobs and work. As we hope for its end soon, let us comply with the implemented guidelines of the Kuwait government. 

Repatriating the Displaced Overseas Filipino Workers

 The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) registered 17 new COVID-19 cases of Overseas Filipinos abroad with six additional fatalities and one recovery. It brings to a total tally of 8,091 cases, with 472 deaths and 2,843 recovered cases. Most of the active cases came from the Middle East and Africa, where a record of 2,023 Filipino patients are currently undergoing treatment. The other 753 cases came from the other foreign regions composing a total of 2,776 active cases.

 The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, reported that 23,000 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) were displaced. Labor Attache Nasser Mustafa clarified that there are three main reasons for this huge number. The first one is that most of their companies stopped their operation. Second, many workers were affected by the No Work, No Pay situation in the country. The primary purpose of going to the country is to earn sufficient financial income for their families back in the Philippines. It is very difficult at this time to send money to their respective families. Lastly, there are undocumented workers in the country. Many of them are runaway workers who are asking for repatriation programs. However, 5,000 OFWs successfully obtained their final exit visas. 

 The POLO office in Riyadh had suspended its operations since June 14, 2020, to prevent any transmission of disease within their offices. They also sterilized the building as a preventive measure. Despite these circumstances, the POLO personnel continue to work from their respective homes as they further assist our fellow OFWs.

The Philippine Navy announced their successful repatriation of 30 Filipino tourists and OFWs from Sri Lanka and India. The PN Public Affairs Office Chief, Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas, affirmed that these repatriates finished their mandatory quarantine period aboard the BRP Davao Del Sur Ship Vessel. The Filipino repatriates boarded the ship as it carried 200,000 facemasks in India with the other vessel BRP Ramon Alcaraz.

Navy Personnel Assisting the Repatriates

 I am thankful to the concerned authorities for facilitating the return of our fellow OFWs, especially from the Middle East and African countries whose COVID-19 cases are high. As the Philippine government gradually work for their return, we should cooperate in our simple ways and motivate each other’s hopes.

“Gumuho man ang mga burol at bundok, ang pag-ibig ko sa iyoʼy hindi mawawala, maging ang kasunduan ko sa iyo na ilalagay kita sa magandang kalagayan. Ako, ang Panginoong naaawa sa iyo, ang nagsasabi nito.”

Isaias 54:10 ASND


The Primary Purpose of my COVID-19 Diaries


CORONAVIRUS DIARIES: DAY #98 – Uniting the Efforts of the GCC

CORONAVIRUS DIARIES: KUWAIT DAY #97 – Prioritizing the Significance of Public Health

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