‘Such measures do not violate constitution’
KUWAIT CITY, Feb 26: Legal experts insist that Kuwait has the right to impose a medical quarantine in the country to ensure their safety from coronavirus disease.
This can even be done by force according to article 73 of the Constitution, which allows the state to issue control regulations alongside law No. 8/1969 regarding health precautions for prevention of communicable diseases, reports Al- Rai daily The constitutional expert Dr Muhammad Al-Faili stated that the medical quarantine on the public is based on article 73 of the Constitution, which permits the state to issue control regulations. He said, “Besides the issuance of control regulations that the executive authority can issue by decree, it is possible to take control measures that restrict freedom in the face of the breakout of infectious diseases”.
Dr Al-Faili stressed that law No. 8/1969 on health precautions against communicable diseases allows medical agencies to take measures that restrict the freedom of society, adding that this law also allows the authorities responsible for confronting cases of infection to enter homes and sterilize them. “Such measures do not violate the constitution. In fact, it is necessary to confront the dangers when their effects can impact all people on the territories of the state”, he added.
Dr Al-Faili called upon the need to distinguish an important concept in this regard – “The state does not prevent people from entering, in this case, their homes, but it is completely entitled to isolate people and subject them to medical examinations. It can impose quarantine under medical supervision for the period decided by the doctors”.
In his role, Dr Abdulkareem Al- Enezi said it is permissible to quarantine, in this case, the citizens in accordance with law No. 8/1969, provided the Minister of Health issues a decision to consider coronavirus as a communicable disease. He went on to say, “This is supposed to be the first procedure for the ministry until the minister exercises the exceptional powers granted to him in accordance with the law. Communicable diseases exist exclusively in the law, and any disease that arises must be issued a decision to add it within these diseases. The exceptional authorities are linked in terms of determining such a disease as a communicable or rather infectious one”.
Dr Al-Enezi insisted that the medical quarantine should not be at a hotel but rather in a location that is equipped with necessary medical apparatus, which in this case, is the hospital as it is the best place to deal with such outbreaks, and its practices are covered by the law.
In addition, Lawyer Dr. Nawaf Al-Yassin confirmed the permissibility of the medical quarantine of the public to ensure their safety from the coronavirus disease, and the possibility of using force in enforcing such measures with the cooperation of law enforcement agencies. He stressed that there is no harm in using medical quarantine, as it is legal according to the law.