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Saturday , October 23 2021

Travel, enjoy … then seize and chain them

 “TO our brothers and sisters who want to travel … Travel and enjoy” — these are the words of the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, and Chairman of the COVID-19 Emergency Committee who is directly concerned with all the precautionary measures ordered by that committee.

We must ask — If people can travel and enjoy themselves, will they be allowed to return? Will the minister abandon the crippling measures he imposed on travelers and returnees? In other words, does the committee agree on one opinion, or does each member have his nights to sing about?

The Minister of Health prevented people who were not vaccinated from traveling, and prevented the return of those stranded abroad. He imposed the use of “Kuwait Mosafer” application, which frustrates people with its complexities. Because of it, many Kuwaitis were stranded at airports all around the world, and there seems to be no sign of hope to solve their case.

It is true that the words of the head of the COVID-19 emergency committee were pleasing to the ears of people, and reassured them that they could travel. Perhaps, many people would have already packed their bags. However, we wonder if this is enough, or if the government should take the initiative immediately to issue decisions. Isn’t it realistic to put an end to the negative repercussions caused by the measures that have been ongoing for about 17 months?

Your Excellency, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Chairman of the Corona Emergency Committee … After the long closure of the markets, you went back to setting requirements for those who are allowed to visit them. You declared that they close their doors at 8:00 pm. They can hardly cover their expenses, as most of the time the markets are almost empty because of that unrealistic decision.

We wonder if there are any actual measures to compensate those affected. Or will it be in the form of a “stimulus plan” that harms people more than benefit them?

There are tens of thousands of lawsuits in the courts concerning rents. The banks demand the repayment of loans, and hundreds of thousands of workers are demanding their salaries.

From where will the employers get the money to pay such financial liabilities? Have you thought about this complex issue?

You may say “We do not have the money to pay the affected” while you continue with your procedures. This did not happen in any country around the world such as in France, Britain, Germany, the United States, and even in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

The governments there borrowed to compensate the affected ones, because they simply worked according to a well-studied vision. On the other hand, we considered people as if they were all sinners, and so you applied to them two verses of the Holy Quran — “Seize and chain him, then cast him into the burning hellfire”.

Despite that, you ask them to be at ease, as if you are giving us good tidings after the apocalypse, while you fail to heed and hear the screams of the people who have been burdened by these procedures.

Your Excellency Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, and Chairman of the COVID-19 Emergency Committee, agree among you on one decision, and look at those who were affected by the ill-considered measures.

Before you ask people to travel and enjoy, answer this question — How would these people travel if they are not allowed to leave without a vaccination certificate certified by the United Nations’ Security Council and the United Nations General Assembly, and stamped with the seal of the Director General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus … that is if the people of Kuwait have the ability to travel after all these procedures?

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

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