MEED sheds light on Kuwait efforts to contain COVID-19

In the context of following up on the developments of the coronavirus in the Gulf countries, ‘MEED’ magazine reviewed the repercussions of the epidemic in Kuwait until the first week of this month, saying the number of confirmed cases infections until Aug 3 was 67,911, while the number of people recovering from the epidemic reached 59,213 cases, reports Al- Anba daily quoting https://

The magazine shed light on the efforts exerted by Kuwait in this regard which it divided into two parts — the first measures taken to reduce the impact of the economic crisis in the country, while the second focuses on measures to confront the spread of the epidemic.

The magazine listed below the measures taken by Kuwait to minimize the impact of the economic crisis. On August 1: Kuwait barred commercial flights from 31 countries deemed high-risk and banned them until further notice. The countries included India, Pakistan, Egypt, the Philippines, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, China, Iran, Brazil, Mexico, Italy and Iraq. Egypt Air is also halting flights to the country.

People waiting to donate blood at the Blood Bank.

■ July 26: Free Covid-19 tests were offered at government hospitals for citizens and expatriates.

■ July 20: Cultural and art events by the National Council of Culture, Art and Letters were postponed to 2021 due to Covid-19. The organization was considering a virtual platform to host the Kuwait International Book Fair before the end of November.

■ June 18: Public sector employees were not allowed to return to work from offices following week due to growth in Covid-19 cases.

■ May 18: Kuwait made wearing masks in public mandatory, with jail time threatened for violators. Measures were taken to minimize the economic crisis.

■ July 28: Directorate-General of Civil Aviation said airlines operating at Kuwait International airport will start commercial fl ights to 20 countries on August 1. The airlines that were to start operations were those of the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Lebanon, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Ethiopia, the UK, Turkey, Iran, Nepal, Switzerland, Germany, Azerbaijan, the Philippines and India, DGCA’s director of the air transport department, Abdullah al- Rajhi, said.

■ July 27: The Kuwaiti government prepared to reopen its airport for commercial fl ights on August 1. Travelers were told to register their fl ight details at www.kuwaitmosafer. com to schedule an appointment for their Covid-19 tests, which most countries are asking of their arriving passengers. Kuwait International airport was to reopen on August 1 at 30 percent capacity under the first of a three-phase plan.

■ July 23: Phase three of Kuwait’s reopening to begin from July 28. Curfew hours were shortened to 9 pm-3 am and worshippers were allowed to attend Eid al-Adha prayers at select mosques.

■ July 21: Civil aviation authority released guidelines to ensure the safe resumption of air travel in August, with measures including random testing of passengers, mandatory use of face masks, and maintaining physical distance. Departing travelers are required to provide negative Covid-19 certificates before boarding and the manual checking of tickets will be replaced with digital scanning to avoid physical contact.

■ July 18: Public Authority for Industry (PAI) says it will establish a six-month stock of protective masks. The daily local production of masks was estimated at more than five million, with 522 tons of raw materials currently available at industrial facilities and 133 tons of imported raw materials to increase production capacity. The number of mask manufacturing factories since the outbreak has increased from one to nine.

■ July 15: Kuwait University to begin new academic year online on August 9.

■ July 13: The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, the Kuwait Municipality and Public Authority for Food and Nutrition to prepare a comprehensive plan to avoid overcrowding during slaughtering and distributing sacrifices around Eid al-Adha. Kuwait Oil Company confirms budgetary cut of 25 per cent and operating expense reduction of 18 per cent for the 2020/21 fiscal year as part of measures to boost “state financial stability”. The national oil company also confirmed projects had been cancelled as part of austerity measures.

■ July 8: Ministry of Finance approves disbursement of KD 240.5m to 70,000 Kuwaitis following a request submitted by the Public Authority for Manpower.

■ July 2: Kuwait International airport to reopen from August 1, and will operate at 30 per cent capacity for six months, capping out at 10,000 passengers and 100 daily flights. The country plans to raise capacity to 60 per cent in February 2021 and full capacity in August 2021.

■ June 25: Second of five-phase plan to restore normalcy by September to begin on June 30 and span three weeks; curfew hours reduced from 8pm – 5am. Public and private sectors will resume work with less than 30 per cent capacity, in addition to the resumption of work in the financial and construction sectors, malls and retail shops, parks, and pick-ups from restaurants and cafes. Lockdown of Farwaniya, Jleeb al-Shuyoukh and Mahboula to continue until further notice.

Source- Arab Times.

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