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Some co-ops separate Kuwaitis, expats in their central markets

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Ten cooperative societies have home delivery service

Expatriates are waiting for their turn to enter a supermarket while Kuwaitis (not seen) sitting separately

KUWAIT CITY, March 28: Some consumer cooperative societies are separating citizens and expatriates in the entry lines of their marketing centers, so that citizens do not have to wait a long time.

In some other cooperative societies, expatriates are being given waiting numbers while citizens can enter the cooperative societies without waiting.

The daily toured some of the consumer cooperative societies, and monitored the scene and precautionary measures implemented to protect the visitors and prevent the spread of coronavirus infection among the citizens and expatriates.

Everyone praised the measures taken by the state and cooperative societies to fortify the country’s population. An official of Mishref Cooperative Society said there is a waiting area for expatriates to enter the supermarket and another where citizens and shareholders sit, adding that this is one among the regulatory procedures aimed at reducing crowds and encouraging social distancing in order to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Abdul Latif Al-Hamad, a former member of the Arab Association of Accountants and Auditors, indicated that separating citizens from the residents in cooperative societies is not any form of discrimination.

He said Kuwait is known for its equality in the enforcement of laws, but this procedure coincides with the sensitive conditions taken by some cooperative societies which aim at ensuring citizens finish purchasing their needs and exit quickly.

Al-Hamad praised the precautionary measures taken by the cooperative societies at the entrances, suggesting that a card should be distributed to every Kuwaiti and expatriate family so that only one member from each family is allowed to visit the cooperative societies for purchasing the needs.

On the other hand, businessman and inventor Saad Al-Azmi said it is not permissible in any way to differentiate between citizens and the expatriates in entering cooperative societies.

He said the cooperative societies should only prevent expatriates living in a remote area from entering an association that does not follow their residence addresses, and the same should apply to citizens in order to prevent crowding.

Al-Azmi advised consumers not to scramble in purchasing food commodities, considering the fact that Kuwait is blessed, and there is necessary strategic stock available to counter such crises.

Meanwhile, Head of the Union of Consumer Cooperative Societies Mishal Al-Sayyar revealed the number of cooperative societies, which started home delivery service, has reached 10; affirming these cooperatives were given a permit to offer the service using vehicles labeled ‘Amirni’ – about 400 cars at the disposal of cooperative societies since the second day of the partial curfew, reports Al-Anba daily.

In a statement to the daily, Al-Sayyar called on the heads of cooperative societies to understand the current situation and get out of the traditional circle of buying and selling, and then engage in e-marketing and maintain dominance as the most important marketing outlets in Kuwait.

He said a number of technical companies and specialized initiatives have put the outcome of their innovations under the cooperative societies’ service. He affirmed they are ready to cooperate with any entity in providing e-marketing applications for free, which will be appreciated by the cooperatives and the public in general.

He added the current situation in the country puts cooperative societies in front of a major challenge and its success largely depends on the benefit of the technical boom that emerged as a ‘stage champion’ after the imposition of a partial curfew by the relevant authorities. He pointed out that bypassing the traditional selling trend as soon as possible will reassure the general public that they could obtain their needs comfortably and safely.

By Najeh Bilal Al-Seyassah Staff

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