KUWAIT CITY, Jan 14, (KUNA): Kuwait has become one of the countries that witness a decline and stability in the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) numbers, Ministry of Health (MoH) Spokesman Abdullah Al-Sanad said, but cautioned to continue with health preventive measures.
This happened, thanks to Allah, and cooperation of members of the society and institutions as well as keenness on implementing precautionary measures, he added in a news conference. He expressed his optimism about this stable situation, calling for, at the same time, continuing to adhere to these measures.
MoH’s hospitals are witnessing a decline in number of patients at wards and intensive care units, reaching 8 and 10 percent respectively, he noted. He highly lauded the Ministry’s medical staff, and the main partners of different official bodies and institutions for their cooperation to combat the virus pandemic.
Al-Sanad noted that the MoH wishes the safety of humanity in all parts of the earth, especially in the areas that are seeing an increase in numbers of the virus pandemic. He prayed to Allah Almighty to eradicate this epidemic and protect everyone.
The world has witnessed the UK’s approval of using COVID- 19 vaccine that has been developed by Oxford University, he said. He hoped that Kuwait would get this vaccine after the completion of some local and global measures taken to ensure its safety and effectiveness.
He renewed his call for all citizens and residents to avoid traveling outside Kuwait at present, “unless absolutely necessary”.
Kuwait listed 560 new coronavirus infections and no virus-related deaths on Thursday taking the total to 156,434 and 946 respectively, the health ministry said.
The number of people hospitalised with the virus currently stands at 5,427, with 49 of them in intensive care units, according to Al-Sanad, who revealed that some 10,360 swab tests were conducted over the last day out of a total of 1,369,781.
The ministry had earlier reported that some 252 more people had been cured of the virus over the past day, raising the total of those to have overcome the disease to 150,061.
He went on to urge nationals and expatriates alike that abiding by health precautions, mainly, following social distancing rules, is the only way to halt the spread of the virus.
The number of people who have received the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine in Kuwait has surpassed 20,000 so far, the health minister said on Thursday, nearly a month into the national rollout.
Around a quarter of a million people have registered for vaccinations since the online platform was launched, Sheikh Dr. Basel Al-Sabah told reporters as he was given his second dose of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, which has already been granted regulatory approval in Kuwait. Urging his compatriots and expatriates alike to register for their shots, the minister said people who are inoculated in Kuwait will get an electronic vaccination certificate akin to an “immunity passport” that will be checked for authenticity at foreign airports, he revealed.
“Contrary to popular belief, this pandemic is not over yet, despite an overall stable situation in Kuwait,” he said, adding that prevention measures such as social distancing and the wearing of masks will remain in place for the foreseeable future. On Kuwait آ‘s vaccination drive, he said the country آ‘s healthcare workers have been “well-trained” to handle vaccines of all forms, which is necessary to avoid “dose waste” and unwanted glitches in national vaccination centers that can accommodate up to 10,000 people.
On when it would be time to ditch face masks in public, the minister said it would still be “premature” even after vaccination, citing World Health Organization prognostications that prepandemic normalcy is likely to return in 2022, once “herd immunity” is reached. On a day that health ministry spokesman Dr. Abdullah Al-Sanad hailed as “historic”, senior Kuwaiti officials were given their second doses of COVID-19 vaccines, joining more than 32 million people around the world to have taken the jab, he said.