June 5, 2020
“You may not always have a comfortable life. And you will not always be able to solve all the world’s problems all at once. But don’t ever underestimate the impact you can have, because history has shown us that courage can be contagious, and hope can take on a life of its own.”Michelle Obama
The whole world hastens its search for the right treatment against COVID-19 disease. Despite the ongoing trials, medical drugs against coronavirus are being sent to many countries for further study.
In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health reported 723 new COVID-19 cases with eight additional deaths and 1,054 recoveries. It brings to a total record of 30,644 cases, with 244 fatalities and 18,277 recovered cases. Within the new cases, 262 are Kuwait citizens, 139 are Indian residents, 101 are Bangladeshis, and 94 are Egyptians. In the governorates, there are 296 in Al Farwaniya, 148 in Al-Ahmadi, 145 in Al Jahra, 89 in Hawally, and 45 in the Capital region. Among the residential areas, Al Farwaniya is the highest with 130 cases. Compared to yesterday’s report, the new number of cases increased.
Preparation of Mosques
The Ministry of Health and Awqaf are currently preparing the mosques following the proper procedures before opening the place. They will open the mosques five minutes before the call of prayer stars and close it 10 minutes after the prayer. Before coming to the mosques, they advised our Muslim brothers to perform Wudu in their homes first. Each of them must bring their prayer rug, wear a mask, and sanitize their hands before entering. They prohibit any handshakes and entry of children under 15 years.
The mosques’ workers must also organize the entry and exit of the worshippers and set markers to determine their assigned places during the period of prayer. According to the Health Ministry’s requirements, each person must have at least 1.5 meters from each other. They must also be aligned alternately between rows where each of them will read the Quran using their cell phone. Lastly, the libraries and toilets in the Mosques remain closed.
I appreciate the efforts of the authorities in planning the proper system to conduct prayers in the mosques. In the said guidelines, social distancing is practiced as well as other health precautionary measures.
Expecting the Arrival of the Avigan Drug
The Health Ministry announced that the first shipment of Japanese medicine called Avigan would arrive next week. It shows positive results from the conducted clinical trials of many countries worldwide for the treatment of COVID-19 disease.
The Ministry’s Assistant Undersecretary for Medicines and Medical Equipment Affairs, Dr. Abdullah Al-Bader, said that the Japanese government sent the first shipment for emergency responses and humanitarian purposes. The delivery does not carry any commercial value.
The usage of the Avigan drug is under the prepared guidelines of Japan with the recommendation of the World Health Organization. The Ministry of Health and Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Kuwait in Tokyo has coordinated closely for nearly three months for the provisions of medicines necessary for COVID-19 treatment.
On the other hand, Al-Bader also expects the arrival of Remdesivir medicine within June. Remdisivir is also one of the treatments being evaluated for its effectiveness by the World Health Organization.
I am very thankful to both governments for their collaboration in studying the proper treatment against coronavirus. It is a good thing that the first shipment is for humanitarian purposes to help the country in treating COVID-19 patients.
The arrival of the Undocumented and Distressed OFWs
The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait posted a photo of the arrival of 184 undocumented and distressed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from Kuwait at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Within the OFWs, most of them came from the last batch of Filipinos who applied to Kuwait’s amnesty program last April 1 to April 30, 2020. Some of them are deportees from the Talha Deportation Center. Overall, 2,466 undocumented and distress OFWs successfully returned home since last March 2020. It is all thanks to the Kuwait government, who paid their Kuwait Airways flights for them.
I am grateful that these OFWs in Kuwait arrived safely back in the Philippines. For this, they can be reunited with their families and start their journey again if ever they will come back to Kuwait in search of financial income. Today marks the 73rd day of the curfew and the 6th day of the government’s first-phase plan. I always keep my hopes up that the country of Kuwait can defeat the threat of coronavirus.
Repatriation of OFWs
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported that they successfully repatriated 35,000 Overseas Filipinos since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. At least 13,566 land-based overseas Filipinos and 21,829 cruise ship crews returned to Manila. Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola affirmed that more repatriates are coming from France, Japan, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Washington, South Korea, and Bahrain. The department set its goals to increase 1,200 per day to increase the number of repatriates being sent back home starting next week.
Because of the various mobility restrictions, overseas Filipinos are severely affected. The lockdown displaced thousands of Filipinos from their work. On the other hand, COVID-19 disease infected many Filipinos outside the country. Currently, there are 5,361 confirmed cases with 2,212 recoveries and 361 deaths.
Based on the statistics of the Philippines’ unemployment rate, it is at 17.7 percent, which means that 7.3 million Filipinos do not currently have work. However, the authorities encouraged private companies to assist the government in providing jobs to the people.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) affirmed that they much hope for the improvement of the employment situation in the country. According to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, as its economy gradually reopens, the labor market will slowly recover. With that, the department is committed to preserving the country’s employment rate as they wait for the implementation of the country’s recovery plan.
As the country of the Philippines tries to recover the significant loss of employment rate, I will include in my prayers that the Philippine government can further handle the COVID-19 situation effectively. Soon, we can increase the employment rate again when everything comes back to normal.
“Kayo, O Dios ang aking Tagapagligtas. Magtitiwala po ako sa inyo at hindi matatakot. Kayo, Panginoon, ang nagbibigay ng lakas sa akin, at kayo ang aking awit. Kayo nga ang nagligtas sa akin.”Isaias 12:2 ASND
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