“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact."

CORONAVIRUS DIARIES Week #32: Remdesivir, the first drug to treat COVID-19

“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.”

-William James-


Today marks the 229th day of our COVID-19 Pandemic journey. Aside from hoping for an efficient and effective COVID-19 vaccine, people also hope for discovering drugs that can help to treat COVID-19. Recently, U.S. FDA approved Remdesivir as the first drug to treat COVID-19.

However, even though Remdesivir is now recognized as a drug to treat COVID-19, people should not be confident enough and ignore health precautions against COVID-19. The existence of drugs that can treat COVID-19 is not the end of the COVID-19 Pandemic.


Update of COVID-19 Cases in Kuwait as of October 26, 2020

The photo was taken from: Instagram: Kuwait MOH


The Kuwait Ministry of Health (MoH) reported six hundred eighty-two (682) new cases. This brings to the total of 122,317 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The MoH also reported 3 new COVID-19 deaths bringing to a total of 749 deaths. However, The MoH positively reported that there are 620 new recoveries from COVID-19. This brings to the total of 113,391 COVID-19 recoveries. As of today’s date, there are 8,177 total active cases in the country, and still optimistic that they will recover from COVID-19.

In contrast to last week’s data, the total COVID-19 confirmed new cases remains on its average on a week-to-week basis. It was also shown that COVID-19 related death slightly decreased. However, the total number of active cases in the country increased. With the MoH COVID-19 Bulletin, people should be reminded to follow health protocols and be more cautious.


Remdesivir, the first drug to treat COVID-19

This photo was taken from: European Pharmaceutical Review


The FDA announced on Thursday that Remdesivir had been approved as the first medicine to treat Covid-19, indicating the government’s trust in the drug’s safe and successful use in hospitalized patients.

The drug has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for adults and pediatric patients aged 12 and up who weigh at least 40 kilograms (88 pounds) and need hospitalization for COVID-19.

The U.S. F.D.A gave Remdesivir emergency authorization last May 2020 after a study by the U.S. National Institute of Health showed that it helped hospitalized patients recover faster. However, the drug does not guarantee prevention from COVID-19 death.

Since it was granted emergency authorization in May, the drug has cleared more stringent regulatory requirements, including a more comprehensive analysis of clinical evidence and manufacturing quality.

“The [U.S.] F.D.A. is committed to expediting the development and availability of COVID-19 treatments during this unprecedented public health emergency. Today’s approval is supported by data from multiple clinical trials that the agency has rigorously assessed and represents an important scientific milestone in the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, US FDA Commissioner said.

Remdesivir, which was originally designed as an Ebola and hepatitis C drug, prevents viruses from reproducing by plugging itself into new viral genes. The drug failed to prevent deaths in patients with COVID-19, according to a World Health Organization survey of over 11,000 people in 30 countries.


Stranded Filipino MoH staffs successfully go back to Kuwait

This photo was taken from: Arab Times


On Monday night, a group of stranded Filipino workers from Kuwait’s Ministry of Health (MoH) arrived in Kuwait on a Kuwait Airways chartered flight from Manila, arranged by Al Tayer Travels in collaboration with the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait.

The group of 28 MoH workers traveled to Kuwait with Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Mohd. Noordin Pendosina Lomondot and Kuwait Ambassador to the Philippines Musaed Saleh Ahmad Al-Thwaikh after securing all necessary travel clearance from relevant Kuwaiti authorities.

“We would like to thank Al Tayer Travels led by its Chairman Mr. Fahad Al Baker for taking this initiative to help our stranded MoH staff. We hope to bring all the stranded MoH staff back soon,” Ambassador Lomondot stated.

Al Tayer Travels Chairman Fahad Al-baker (left) and Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Mohd. Noordin Pendosina Lomondot

This photo was taken from: Arab Times


Thirty more Ministry of Health workers and nine of their dependents remain stranded in the Philippines, awaiting travel clearance to Kuwait.

Residents from 34 countries with high COVID-19 cases were previously prohibited from flying directly to Kuwait, but they could travel to and remain in a country not on the ban list for 14 days, after which they could fly to Kuwait with the mandatory PCR test.

The first group of 23 MoH workers flew in July on a chartered flight organized by Al Tayer Travels, and the second group arrived last Monday evening. “We are happy to be of service and to help the Filipino MoH staff. We have done all our best to bring them back to Kuwait despite the pandemic and all the travel restrictions. We thank the Kuwaiti authorities for allowing us to fly back on the 28. We hope the remaining 30 and their dependents will be given approval too,” Al-baker stated.

Meanwhile, Al Tayer Travels has pledged to assist the remaining stranded Ministry of Health workers in returning to Kuwait. Ambassadors Lomondot and Al Thuwaikh have agreed to assist in obtaining travel authorization from Kuwaiti authorities. “We will start again with all the paper works and hopefully, they can fly back soon,” Bobby Thomas stated, Operations Manager of Al Tayer Travels.


Filipina domestic worker tested positive for COVID-19, committed suicide


This photo was taken from: Kuwait Times


I was deeply saddened upon hearing the news that one of our Kababayan in Kuwait, committed suicide. Our fellow Kababayan was identified to be positive with COVID-19. She committed suicide at her sponsor’s home. I’m sending my deep condolences to the bereaved family of our fellow Kababayan.

Help is always available. You may visit Kuwait Center for Mental Health at Jamal Abdul Nasser St. Shuwaik Medical, Al Asimah Governate, or call KW +965 248 43 900 to speak with someone today.


Expats excluded by Royal Pardon for petty crimes

Man behind bars

This photo was taken from: Visit Kuwait

The limited amnesty for petty criminals does not apply to expatriates. The newly released inmates would be required to wear e-bracelets and serve their sentences at home. Expats would not be covered by the use of electronic tracking bracelets for petty criminals issued under certain conditions.

The Supreme Committee for Royal Pardon confirmed this week that inmates sentenced to up to three years in jail can be released and remain at home while wearing electronic tracking bracelets during their sentence.

“This mechanism applies only to the Kuwaitis and the stateless people [Bidoon] and not the expatriates,” Head of the Supreme Committee for the Royal Pardon Mohammed Al Duaj said.

“The inmate covered by this measure must have a permanent residence. The convict will be obliged to stay in his house to complete the period of his jailing, which means he will not go out unless for extreme necessity and with prior permission,” Mohammed Al Duaj added.

“The move also aims at reducing numbers of prisoners and the cost for the state. Such convicts can resume their studies online,” Mohammed Al Duaj concluded.


Almost 13,000 expatriates deported from Kuwait this 2020

In the last ten months, about 13,000 expatriates have been deported from Kuwait due to their engagement in criminal activities.

Most of the deportees, of all nationalities, were sent home as a precaution to safeguard Kuwait’s public interests.

Ninety percent of deportees were deported as a result of court decisions in criminal and minor cases, while the remaining 10% were deported as a result of administrative orders. More than 900 foreign men and women are being held in Kuwait’s Deportation Prison, with their deportation only a “matter of time” away.

However, the number of expatriates deported from Kuwait so far is lower than the number of deportees in the previous two years. Last year, about 40,000 expatriates were deported, with 34,000 in 2018.

The current year’s low figures are attributed to steps designed to control the spread of the latest coronavirus, such as the suspension of international air travel.


PH Embassy Public Advisory: Embassy Forms are Free of Charge, Not For Sale

The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait advises the public that the Embassy’s Passport Application Form, Unified Request for Assistance Form (URAF), and other application forms are free and not for sale.

The Embassy advises the public to avoid dealing with scammers. Many who have been ordered to pay for their application forms are encouraged to file a formal report with the Embassy so that the incident can be investigated.

The Passport Application Form can be downloaded for free from the Embassy’s website at https://kuwaitpe.dfa.gov.ph/consular-services. Those with confirmed passport appointments should download, fill out, and print the Passport Application Form at home before going to their scheduled appointment at the Embassy to avoid being scammed.


Newly Arrived Passports

In case you miss it, mga Kababayan! Here are the lists of newly arrive passports from the Philippines. You may check the list to see if your name is included in the list.

The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait is open for passport releasing from Sunday to Thursday (except Holidays) from 7:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

Important reminder: You don’t need to secure an appointment to claim your renewed passport.

List of Newly Arrived Passports as of October 27, 2020


To access the list you may visit: https://bit.ly/3nTAjSc

To access the list for unclaimed passport, you may visit Philippine Embassy in Kuwait’s Facebook Page or visit https://www.kuwaitpe.dfa.gov.ph


Appointment Slots for Non-Passport Services

Appointment Slots for Non-Passport Services for the date 01-05 November 2020

This photo was taken from: Facebook: Philippine Embassy in Kuwait


IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Mga Kababayan in Kuwait, the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait wishes to inform everyone that appointment slots for non-passport services for the 01-05 November 2020 are now available.

You may visit https://kuwaitpe.setmore.com to secure an appointment slot for availing of non-passport services.

You may also visit https://bit.ly/3to4TEI for the full list of requirements for non-passport service.


19th Chartered Flight for distressed OFWs from Kuwait to Manila

Passengers of 19th Chartered Flight from Kuwait to Manila preparing to embark

This photo was taken from: Facebook: Philippine Embassy in Kuwait


The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait and POLO-OWWA Kuwait aided undocumented and distressed OFWs on the 19th chartered Kuwait-to-Manila flight, which took off from Kuwait International Airport on October 25, 2020.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) granted the chartered flight permission to land at the NAIA after receiving approval from the Embassy and the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines (DFA).

Passengers of 19th Chartered Flight from Kuwait to Manila

This photo was taken from: Facebook: Philippine Embassy in Kuwait


It is delightful news that relevant Philippine government agencies still prioritize the welfare of our fellow Kababayans in Kuwait. Philippine Embassy in Kuwait, POLO-OWWA Kuwait, and Department of Foreign Affairs deserve a round of applause for their hard work to assist our fellow kababayans to go home amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic.

In conclusion of our COVID-19 Update, as of 26 October, 2020 Kuwait has a total tally of 122,317 COVID-19 cases. Meanwhile, the Philippines have 371,630 COVID-19 cases. The Department of Health reported 1,607 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases with 82.6% mild cases and 10.9% asymptomatic cases. The DoH posted 36,333 total active cases, a slight decrease compared to last week’s data.

In comparison to last week’s data, there’s a significant decrease in the single-day newly reported cases number of active cases in the country. Despite the decreasing number on a week-to-week basis, we should continue to adhere to health standards being implemented by the government. Let us hope that Remdesivir will maintain its efficiency to potentially treat COVID-19 patients to halt the additional COVID-19 related deaths. Let us hope that the COVID-19 Pandemic will soon end.



My Trusted Page of References for COVID-19 Diaries

The Primary Purpose of my COVID-19 Diaries


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Gracia Amor
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