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KUWAIT CITY, Feb 9: The National Assembly on Wednesday ratified the bill on amending Protection from Infectious Diseases law number 8/1969 and the proposal to ease Covid-19 regulations. The recommendations to ease health regulations related to Corona include the following: cancellation of the requirement to obtain a negative PCR test result prior to arrival in Kuwait and replace it with PCR test upon arrival; allowing unvaccinated individuals to travel to destinations which do not require vaccination; do not discriminate between the vaccinated and unvaccinated children; and those who obtained the two doses of the vaccine are considered fully vaccinated so there is no need for the third dose.
Meanwhile, MP Muhannad Al-Sayer expressed disappointment over the absence of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Hamad Jaber Al-Ali who also serves as Chairman of the Coronavirus Committee, and Minister of Health Dr Khalid Al-Saeed during the session. He pointed out that people are waiting for the decision to ease health regulations and the concerned ministers should have been present to take the necessary action. Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim then explained that the health minister apologized for not attending the session as he had to undergo a medical procedure – catheterization.
In addition, the Assembly approved the proposal to form a medical committee for receiving the complaints of vaccinated individuals regarding the negative side effects of the Covid-19 vaccine and to regularly submit reports to the Council of Ministers.
It also approved the report of the Health, Social and Labor Affairs Committee on the proposed amendment of law number 8/1969, particularly adding Article 17b which allows anyone proven to have violated health regulations to pay KD50 as a form of reconciliation without the need to go to the court.
The crime stipulated in the third paragraph of Article 17 – deliberately infecting other people – is not covered by this reconciliation. The punishment for such a crime remains the same – maximum 10 years imprisonment and maximum fine of KD30,000 or any of the two penalties. Article 17b is A will be added as well, authorizing the health minister to grant judiciary arrest power to the concerned employees in the ministry; so they can issue citations for those who violate the law in public places. This does not overlap with the judiciary arrest power granted to securitymen at the Ministry of Interior. Minister of Commerce and Industry Fahd Al-Sharean confirmed that the government supports the amendments; clarifying the purpose of imposing a huge fine is to deter people from committing the crime, not to collect money. MP Mubarak Al-Hajraf pointed out that people should be required to take the Covid-19 vaccine only when it is proven effective and without negative side effects.
MP Hesham Al-Saleh warned the health minister against forcing citizens to take the vaccine. He called on the government to prove that the vaccine has no negative side effects, citing the case of a female citizen who died four hours after taking the vaccine and the medical report stated that the cause of death is blood clot probably due to the vaccine. He said forcing individuals to take the vaccine is a violation of the Constitution, warning this might end like the DNA Law that the Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional.
Addressing the incumbent health minister, he asserted: “Do not listen to those who are advising you to follow in the footsteps of former minister Dr Basel Al-Sabah. Remember that he was subjected to two grilling motions and people rejoiced over his departure. The State Audit Bureau (SAB) recorded financial violations during the tenure of the former minister.” MP Abdulkareem Al-Kandari called for the cancellation of law number 8/1969 and then issue a new law that takes into consideration the latest scientific facts about infectious diseases. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff