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The measures taken by the government to combat the COVID-19 pandemic have exceeded the scope of confusion and have landed on the circle of disaster.
It is as if we are not in the midst of this pandemic that the whole world is enduring without exception … It is as if we are in a race between those benefiting from the status quo and those looting the public fund, while restraining the general public with more failed, or rather futile, measures.
Various countries have taken gradual and realistic precautions that helped in overcoming the crisis and mitigating the damages it left on their economies. As it appears, Kuwait is the only country that is going through a series of successive scandals, which have put us in an unenviable situation and rendered us into becoming a laughing stock among countries.
For more clarity about the confusion we are facing, it is enough to peruse the reports of the State Audit Bureau which exposed the squandering of the public funds and the corruption in terms of the purchase of face masks or sanitizers and other medical supplies.
Furthermore, the most embarrassing scandal is the one related to the rewards allocated for the front-liners. The list of those who deserve such perks includes almost everyone who had no active role in fighting the pandemic.
In fact, it appears like there is a race to gain from the public funds, be it the MPs or the ministers who are supposed to, by default, be keen about preserving the national wealth, instead of exploiting any loophole to achieve more forbidden gains that continue to push the economy to the edge. The fact is that the economy continues to weaken as a result of the negative impacts imposed by the pandemic globally, rendering the economy to shrink further.
Various scandals and violations have been exposed and are continued to be exposed daily through the press and social media. In fact, journalists, activists and experts expound on clarifying and refuting them, but as it appears, one ear of the executive authority is filled with clay and the other with dough.
The series of confusion and violations continue, as if someone is in a contest with himself. The scope of the scandals continues to expand to involve all state institutions. This leads us to the question – How long will such unawareness of the gravity of the crisis in which the country is submerging into last? Why do those in charge allow the corrupt to have a field day?
Could there be someone dreaming of ushering Kuwait into the Guinness Book for the errors and conflicting decisions that have been made so far?
Last year, the government introduced the “Kuwait Traveler’’ (Mosafer) app to carry out transactions to facilitate travel into and out of the country. Even though people got fed up with it after they were left stranded in the world’s airports, another scandal occurred through the government’s recent decision which is a clear indication of the absence of a proper plan, and of the confusion, as if the executive authority lacks constitutional and legal experts.
The decision prevented citizens from entering the country without fulfilling certain conditions which lack constitutional merit. The decision also prevented citizens from traveling outside the country except after completing the vaccination procedures, and this also lacks constitutional merit.
This begs us to wonder if our government is protecting other countries that opened its doors to all Kuwaitis, from the assumption held by the concerned minister that all of them are infected … Or is Kuwait alone suffering from this pandemic?
Frankly speaking, these decisions do not protect or preserve lives, but instead increase their suffering, and put more financial, sociological and even psychological burden on people.
This is due to the fact that these measures lack scientific merits and wisdom to preserve lives and public money. They also deviate from the sound measures taken by other countries in this regard.
Unfortunately, the government is not hearing or rather heeding to the agonizing voices on the streets. It seems as if what is being published, written and said in regard to criticisms and advice are being blown into a torn bagpipe.
Is it to this extent that you take light of the destinies of people? We appeal to the compassionate political leadership to settle this matter because the government is apparently deaf, blind and dumb.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times