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COVID in ‘unprecedented decline’

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KUWAIT CITY, Oct 19, (Agencies): Kuwait’s Health Minister Sheikh Dr. Basel Al- Sabah has said COVID-19 infection and death rates are at an “unprecedented decline,” with intensive care unit occupancy levels at their “lowest” amid an increase in two-dose vaccination rates amongst nationals and residents. This came as the minister briefed a Cabinet session on the “ongoing improvements” regarding the COVID- 19 pandemic situation nationwide, according to a Cabinet statement. In turn, ministers expressed “great satisfaction and reassurance” at the revelation, labelling the public vaccination campaign a “success”, thanks to its contribution to raising societal immunity levels.

Sheikh Sabah Al Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah chairs Monday’s Cabinet meeting

They went on to reiterate the need for both nationals and residents, who have not yet been inoculated, to receive one of the four approved vaccines to preserve public safety and ensure the defeat and full control over this pandemic. The Ministry of Health has meanwhile intensified efforts to expedite the opening of primary healthcare centers in most areas; taking into consideration the declining number of Corona cases, continuous improvement of the epidemiological situation, resumption of various activities and opening of more facilities to pave way for the return to normal life, reports Al-Qabas daily quoting health officials.

The officials explained that the ministry took this step in a bid to reduce pressure on public hospitals, disclosing the health centers in Abu Fatira and Funaitees residential areas will open in the next two months. They said these health centers will provide medical services to the residents of these areas, and that these centers consist of clinics specialized in chronic diseases. They affirmed the final touches on these two health centers are ongoing to prepare for the opening. The officials added that Rumaithiya Specialized Center will open in the beginning of next month, after the renovation works and its use as outpatient clinic for Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital.

They disclosed the center consists of general medicine, diabetes, diabetic foot, ear, nose, throat, maternity, dental and preventive health clinics. They went on to say that the Martyrs Health Center will resume operations next week, as it was utilized as a center for following up the implementation of home quarantine protocols for citizens infected with Coronavirus in the morning and evening shifts during the height of the crisis. They pointed out this will ease the burdens of patients as they will no longer visit health centers in neighboring areas or hospitals.

They also stressed the need to open more specialized clinics at the primary healthcare centers in health districts, as this will ease the burdens of public hospitals, particularly their emergency units. Seperately, ministers welcomed the return home of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah after a private trip abroad, congratulating him on the advent of the Prophet Mohammad PBUH)’s birthday and praying that the event would bring growth and prosperity to the Muslim world. On the international scale, Foreign Minister and State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Naser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah highlighted the details of his recent attendance of Non-Aligned Movement talks in Belgrade.

His speech at the meeting underlined Kuwait’s commitment to the 10 Bandung principles, namely respect of fundamental human rights under the United Nations Charter, respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity, recognition of equality amongst all races, creeds and sects, nonintervention in the affairs of other countries, respect of a nation’s right to defend itself in conformity with the UN Charter.

Also, the non-use of collective defence pacts to benefit the interests of a great powers, refraining from acts of aggression on another country, the settlement of global disputes through peaceful means, the promotion of cooperation and mutual interest and respect for international justice. The minister went on to outline the results of recent meetings with visiting officials, namely Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Donika Gervalla-Schwarz and Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Felix Plasencia, both of which discussed bilateral trade ties alongside issues of mutual significance.

Another visit by UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini, saw the official expressing gratitude and appreciation for Kuwait’s support of the UN agency’s endeavours, most recently a healthcare programme dedicated to Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, alongside the UNRWA budget, the statement said. The cabinet members debated the proposal of the committee to shift the supervisory authority over the Kuwait Fire Force from the minister of state for cabinet affairs to the minister of interior in the light of the completion of the KFF military organization as a regular force.

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