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Sunday , September 19 2021

Steps taken to block coronavirus – Kuwait issues travel alert

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 29, (Agencies): The Kuwait Ports Authority (KPA) has issued seven significant and necessary instructions to all those concerned to prevent coronavirus, in addition to subjecting the Chinese ships entering Kuwaiti territorial waters to health check before allowing these ships to anchor at ports, reports Al-Rai daily.

The KPA has also taken a number of preventive measures according to which all employees of the departments affiliated to the KPA who come in direct contact with the crew members of ships to take precautionary measures to prevent the transmission of infection.

This is in addition to Department of Maritime Operations, represented by the Maritime Communications Control ‘Burj Al-Shuwaikh, Al-Shuaiba’, communicating with ships coming to the ports through wireless communications, and ask the captains of ships to disclose any cases of infection or suspicion of this virus, taking into account the importance of coordination with the health center of the port in this regard before they enter. The supply department must urgently provide clothing, tools, equipment, and manual sterilizers, and the necessary means to prevent the transmission of infection to all employees of the authority and its affiliated facilities.

Johannes Luchner, Director of the Emergency Management and resc-EU, speaks with journalists concerning the recent outbreak at the EU Emergency Response Coordination Center in Brussels, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. European officials and business stepped up efforts Wednesday to counter a spreading deadly virus from China. European officials were seeking to both calm the public and to put up better barriers to protect citizens and workers from the virus. (AP Photo/Riccardo Pareggiani)

During the daily morning meeting with maritime agents and contractors, the Department of Maritime Operations must verify the ships and issue crew lists and confirm the agents provide all necessary and correct information before the ships are included in the daily bulletin.

The Maritime Operations Department must coordinate with the maritime agents to limit the entry of the crew members to Shuwaikh and Shuaiba port temporarily, except in cases of extreme necessity and emergency, after obtaining the approval of the Director of Maritime Operations Department in an official letter.

The Department of Maritime Operations, Containers and Handling in KPA shall not allow any work of unloading and shipping or any handling, boarding or landing of any of the contractors’ labor, except after the ships and their crew have been examined by the Public Health Inspector of the port’s health center and medically declared free of diseases. The necessity of emphasizing that shipping agents do not issue temporary permits for sailors to leave the ships, except in the most extreme cases and after obtaining the approval of the Maritime Operations Department in coordination with the health center in the port. Kuwaiti Ambassador to China Samih Johar Hayat called on Kuwaitis to refrain from visiting China unless truly necessary, due to the spread of the coronavirus.

In a statement Wednesday, the ambassador warned Kuwaitis against going to the affected areas in China, especially Hubei province and its capital Wuhan. According to Chinese authorities’ statistics, 132 people died from the virus and about 6,000 are infected, he said, adding that the authorities expect the number to rise to 9,000 infected people by end of the day.

Hayat said there are also 65,000 cases of people coming in contact with the sick, and are currently being monitored. He advised citizens to immediately contact Kuwait Embassy in Beijing and Consulate Generals in Shanghai, Quanzhou and Hong Kong in case of emergency, on the following numbers: 008615011111537 for embassy; 008613291201792 for Shanghai; 00862038078070 for Quanzhou; 0085298211669 for Hong Kong.

Kuwait’s Consul-General in Shanghai Meshaal Al-Shemali on Wednesday called on Kuwaiti citizens to abstain from traveling to Chinese city of Shanghai currently due to spread of the new coronavirus strain.

Al-Shemali said in a statement to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) that all Kuwaiti nationals who are currently present in Shanghai and surrounding districts should contact the consulate on the following phone number: 008613291201792. The Consul-General indicated that he made the call after the local administration in Shanghai declared a state of emergency and enforced a series of precautions, such as closing public facilities, to limit spread of the virus.

The Chinese Ambassador to Kuwait H.E. Li Minggang disclosed that Beijing understands Kuwait and some other countries over the decision to recall their diplomats from China due to widespread nature of the coronavirus, reports Al- Shahed daily. Ambassador Minggang declared the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs held a meeting with accredited diplomats where he updated them about the situation. He hopes the international community will understand efforts exerted by China to wipe out the virus. He informed that Chinese officials in various countries across the world have been reaching out to government offi- cials in their respective locations, including Kuwait to intimate them about the efforts of government in that regard.

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