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KUWAIT CITY, May 18: Some former ministers of Kuwait have highlighted certain mechanisms necessary to coexist with the precautionary measures implemented during and beyond the COVID-19 crisis such as establishing electronic versions of work in all government agencies and addressing the demographics.
They affirmed the need to adhere to all precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as well as find modern methods to develop the scientific, security and economic fields, stressing that “herd immunity is the last solution if the total lockdown does not succeed”.
Former minister and lawmaker Dr. Ahmed Al-Mulaifi said, “I believe the world has changed with the COVID-19 crisis and will change further because it has unraveled many strengths and weaknesses both in the global system and in the system of each country.
The crisis exposed our mistakes and negatives that we have been covering up with money. It showed us how harmful it is and how it is able to destroy the country.” He called for the need to make a lot of changes in the way of building the country
Dr. Al-Mulaifi went on to say, “After all the mistakes we saw, especially in the field of demographics and self-sufficiency required for survival, we can no longer continue with this approach.
The demographics and self-sufficiency slogan is a broad umbrella under which many reforms at the level of human resources, education and legal system fall under administration of the state.
However, we are currently very busy with handling the crisis, so we must devote another team that can prepare for ways to cope with the situation after the crisis.” He explained that the world will change its dealings with technology to be more intrusive in human life and more controlling and effective so that life does not stop.
For example, the outlook towards wars and power will change in the future, as epidemics and viruses will replace conventional weapons. Dr. Al-Mulaifi called for the preparation of science and knowledge for self-defense purposes.
Meanwhile, former minister Dr. Muhammad Al-Haifi, based on his diagnosis and vision of the crisis and its repercussions, said, “The coronavirus crisis has two paths – first is that only God Almighty can end the pandemic. We have in history many examples of epidemics that eventually ended, thanks to the Lord of the World, and life returned to normal without any cost. The second path revolves around the necessity to produce an effective and safe vaccine against the virus, which would require a long time of not less than six months. In this case, life in itself will not return to normal, so we must adapt and coexist with the new life, which is dominated by physical spacing, wearing masks, washing hands, and not leaving the house except for urgent requirements.”
He stated that the longer the epidemic is confronted, the higher the cost for people and countries becomes, stressing that many things will change in the future. He called for the state’s attention towards enhancing internal and external security. Furthermore, former minister Fahad Al-Shula highlighted the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on social and economic security since the World Health Organization recognized the spread of the epidemic, as it has become “a source of concern for all countries of the world which has forced them to take strict measures to limit its spread”.
He explained that the coronavirus crisis has caused an economic slowdown, which led to loss of many jobs. Recently, specialists stated that obtaining vaccine or finding treatment may take time and the world must coexist with the epidemic for this time.
Al-Shula said, “Coexisting with coronavirus has become imperative by taking precautionary measures such as social distancing, and enhancing community awareness about the importance of wearing gloves and masks, as well as providing gloves and masks to all members of the society. Decisions and circulars must be issued to regulate dealing and coexisting with the epidemic in all governmental, private and educational institutions.”
He affirmed the need to activate electronic services, or the so-called e-government, for all government transactions and preparing airports and airlines to issue instructions and procedures in coordination with the World Aviation Organization and the World Health Organization as a necessary requirement to deal with the epidemic.
In addition, former minister of education Dr. Bader Al-Essa said, “The last choice now that the Kuwaiti government is gesticulating is herd immunity.” He indicated that, “Herd immunity is a scientific method followed in most European countries. Some did so at the beginning of the crisis, and others postponed it as their last option. Ensuring herd immunity could take a long time, extending to several months.”
Dr. Al-Essa explained that Kuwait tried implementing all the measures requested by the World Health Organization from the partial curfew to total lockdown. All these measures require everyone’s cooperation to reduce the number of casualties. Most people cooperated in adhering to the preventive measures.
However, it is apparent that the greater percentage of infected cases are among the Asian residents; because of the nature of their communities and culture, especially in densely populated area, such as Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, Mahboula, and others. He said, “Infections among the members of the front-lines had slowed down the pace of the battle against COVID-19, even though we have a moderate proportion of victims who have been hospitalized and a limited rate of people who died compared to our neighboring countries.”