Easing of commercial restrictions eyed

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KUWAIT CITY, April 26: Concurring with the second phase of the plan to evacuate Kuwaitis from overseas, informed sources revealed that the government is planning to gradually ease restrictions on commercial activities and within a limited scope before the end of Ramadan, based on advice rendered by concerned authorities in this regard.

Mubarakiya Market in Kuwait City

They said, “The restrictions imposed since late February are gradually being eased especially with the decision the Cabinet issued during its last meeting to allow food delivery services to operate until 1:00 am and the decision of Ministry of Health to resume work in private clinics and hospitals during specific timings, and the reopening of Mubarakiya market.”

A few days ago, the State Minister of Municipal Affairs Eng Walid Jassem had ordered the reopening of vehicle repair garage affiliated to cooperative societies, which will run within strict health controls in coordination with cooperative societies.

In a press release, Eng. Jassem said, “The vehicle repair garages were among the services suspended by the Cabinet to curb spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Due to people taking advantage of this situation, the suspension has been lifted but within specific controls and regulations in a bid to serve the public and enable them to repair their cars as well as keep people away from those who are taking advantage of these exceptional circumstances.”

Meanwhile, sources said they are expecting the reopening of the airspace and resumption of flights on a small scale possibly prior to the Eid Al-Fitr holidays They revealed that the President of Kuwait Banking Union Adel Majed recently announced the plan of the banks to reopen 25 percent of their branches in concurrent with the start of receiving financial support applications from businesses to cushion the effect of COVID-19.

While sources praised the government’s approach in dealing with the repercussions of COVID-19 and the measures and procedures taken since the beginning of the crisis, they expressed concern for the government’s retraction from its decisions due to pressures being applied by various forces.

They stressed that such retraction may undermine all the efforts made in the previous stages.

The sources said, “When crisis began, the government retracted its decision to prevent expatriates from entering the country without conducting PCR medical tests before coming to Kuwait to ensure they are free of coronavirus.

This retraction allowed thousands of expatriates to return to Kuwait, subsequently compelling the government to conduct medical tests at the Kuwait International Fair Ground. The government also retracted from the Cabinet’s decision to publish in the newspaper and media the names of curfew and quarantine violators.

A few days ago, Ministry of Health retracted from the decision to abolish self-isolation, and instead impose institutional quarantine on everyone.” The sources stressed the importance of social distancing and the procedures and measures related to fighting the coronavirus pandemic away from political altercations and parliamentary interference in order to prevent the recurrence of errors at the expense of safety of the public.

Restaurants launch delivery service
Life has returned to restaurants at night after the government allowed them to work and offer delivery service during the curfew time from 5:00 pm to 1:00 am.

During a tour on Friday evening, the daily monitored the launch of delivery service. It discovered that the government permitted the service for meeting the needs of citizens and residents as well as extended its oversight hand through the monitoring and follow-up teams of Kuwait Municipality in order to ensure the services provided are safe and according to the highest levels of precautionary measures.

It also discovered during the tour that a limited number of restaurants have started their services, while the rest are waiting for their procedures to be completed so that they can practice the activity in compliance with all requirements and procedures that were imposed recently.

The delivery of requests by a number of fast food restaurants, confectionaries and sweets shops as well as juice shops on the first day was secure. Many of those restaurants started the delivery services using their own drivers amid commitment to precautionary measures in the face of the coronavirus, in addition to the return of the workers of companies specialized in delivery using the means of transport assigned to them – motorcycle – to the assembly points within the areas required to be covered starting from 5:00 pm.

Abu Ahmed, who runs a fast food shop, said that the delivery service began at 5:00 pm and the last request was received 12:30 am, so that workers could prepare and return to their homes. He affirmed that all precautionary measures are taken, foremost of which is measuring the temperature of all workers before the start of work, which is a prerequisite for starting work. Meanwhile, Othman, who works in a juice and sweets shop, said, “Today, we started practicing our activity for the first time during the time of the curfew in accordance with the regulations and procedures to be followed by the workers, all of which are related to the precautionary health steps from wearing personal protection tools to periodic monitoring of the workers’ temperature.”

Also, the monitoring and follow-up teams of Kuwaiti Municipality started their duties in following the implementation of the decision to launch delivery service, based on two axes.

The first is monitoring the level of compliance with the laid-down procedures and law, and the other is educating workers in that sector about the procedures that they are required to adhere to and what they should avoid so that they do not fall under legal penalty, and ensuring the provision of services in line with the health procedures.

Head of the Monitoring and Follow-up Team in Farwaniya Municipality Faisal Al-Nasser said the Municipality is ready around the clock to impose its supervisory authority and prevent any attempt to tamper with or violate the law at the present time.

He indicated that the monitoring team started its tasks the same day the decision was implemented to allow restaurants to deliver requests during the time of the curfew.

Al-Nasser stressed the need for each restaurant to maintain a record stating the name of every worker, the time he commences work and his temperature daily, as restaurants will be subject to inspection process in this aspect.

In addition, Ali Al-Qallaf, a Senior Inspector in Farwaniya Municipality, said the Monitoring and Follow-up Team of Farwaniya Municipality started their task from the very moment when the decision to allow restaurants to offer delivery services during curfew time and its control procedures were implemented.

He explained that the monitoring and follow-up team conducted tour in the evening from 5:00 pm of all the shops and restaurants that obtained the necessary licenses to work during the evening.

The monitoring process focuses on the inherent competencies of the Municipality, including cleanliness of the place, and the level of commitment to health procedures at work.

By Khaled Hajri, Abdul-Nasser Aslami and Faris Abdan Al-Seyassah Staff and Agencies

This news has been read 72866 times!

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