‘400 nurseries out of work since nine months’
KUWAIT CITY, Dec 16: The business community recently witnessed the first judicial move against the government, because of the precautionary measures taken by the Council of Ministers, particularly the Ministry of Health, in the face of the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic, reports Al-Rai daily.
According to reliable sources the owners of one of the nurseries demand that the state compensate the nursery financially and morally, for what is considered as serious damage to the business, because of the decision taken by the government to halt the nursery activities which remain enforced till date.
The daily learned that the nursery management blame government for the continued closure of the nursery that has financially exhausted the owners to limits that threaten the very survival of their investments, while describing the decision as arbitrary, and demanded that the court delegate an expert to determine the value of the damages caused to their facilities as a result of this decision, and the consequences of preventing them from collecting child registration fees for the academic years (2019/2020) and (2020/2021).
On March 11, the government approved a precautionary closure that included all sectors, government agencies, public institutions and the majority of commercial sectors, to prevent the spread of Corona virus, and later approved a plan divided into five stages for the gradual return to normalcy.
The nurseries and cinema halls fall within the fifth and final phase, however, the beginning of the fifth stage has been postponed indefinitely while some of the activities which were part of the fifth stage have opened up for business such as health and sports clubs, and personal care shops, such as barbershops, in addition to tailoring and ateliers. Claimants for financial and moral compensation say stopping their activities by a sovereign decision exposed them to heavy losses, consisting of lost gains and subsequent losses, explaining that this decision wasted their material gains that would have been collected if the decision was not issued, in addition to burdening them with employees’ salaries, nursery rents, and maintenance contracts.
Literally, they noted that they were subjected to psychological harm as a result of compromising their operational freedoms, pointing out that the decision to stop their activities led to their feeling sad and grief, for their inability to continue practicing their profession, such as many activities that returned to work, including schools that have adopted distance education method.
The sources suggested that many nursery owners and similar businesses would join in filing the lawsuit, against the backdrop of the continued suspension of their activities for more than 9 continuous months, as part of the state’s plans to confront the virus, indicating that the continued suspension of their activities until this date and for an indefinite period violates all factual data, according to the case papers.
The lawsuit filed in this regard pointed out that, based on the principle that the state must compensate people and entities for the damages that occur to them due to natural disasters, the government must compensate the owners of businesses suspended by a decision by the state due to the repercussions of the Corona pandemic, noting that there are about 400 nurseries that were affected by the government decision.
The lawsuit filed by the nursery acknowledges the closure is a sovereign decision that no one can dispute, except that it indicated that if its damages are severe and multiple to a group of business owners, the state must compensate them, especially if the cause is a pandemic such as Corona which has been classified as an epidemic.