Health urges emergency-only travel; Quarantine period may be cut

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KUWAIT CITY, Jan 9, (Agencies): The daily coronavirus (COVID-19) infections are still registering unprecedented high numbers, Kuwait’s Ministry of Health announced on Sunday. It called on citizens and expats to restrict travelling abroad to emergency cases only, and called on travellers coming from abroad to abide by the health quarantine regulations, and avoid contacting others until quarantine ends, the Ministry added in a statement today. The Ministry specialized teams are closely monitoring the COVID-19 cases inside the hospitals and COVID-19 intensive care units, and is following up with the treatment and preventive protocols in the country’s health institutions, it added, noting that beds’ capacity is within the capacity of the health system.

It advised not to contact others in case of one experiencing any symptoms of (runny nose- sneezing- coughing-sore throat), or in case of experiencing headache, fever, or fatigue, as we all share a joint responsibility towards the current health conditions, and with proper cooperation will pass it safely, it said. Although Kuwait has recorded unprecedented number of infections since the outbreak of the epidemic, government sources said there is a tendency to reduce the quarantine period for people infected with the virus and those who come in contact with them, reports Al-Qabas daily.

The sources explained this trend comes as a translation of a recommendation made by the health authorities recently to the Ministerial Committee for Corona Emergencies, stressing that the duration of the reduction in quarantine period will differ from the vaccinated and those not vaccinated. Regarding the proposed period of isolation or confinement, the sources indicated that the recommendation includes several proposals, globally applicable, and the Council of Ministers will adopt one of them, or its approval will be postponed to a later time. It is noteworthy that the Ministry of Health imposes 10 days home quarantine for those infected and 14 days for those who come in contact. With the epidemic’s infection rates increasing dramatically over the past days, health authorities have become increasingly concerned about overcrowding of workers, which lack necessary health requirements, especially with the emergence of the new mutated ‘Omicron’ strain of corona, which is known to spread rapidly.

Health sources have warned of the lack of labor housing with anti-epidemic precautions, especially with regard to physical distancing and ventilation of closed places, which may contribute to an unprecedented rise in injuries as well, noting the importance of stressing on finding radical solutions to end the problems of overcrowding and the absence of health requirements, related to security and safety. Sources explained that the danger of these dwellings is not limited to the spread of infection only, but also has other risks related to the rapid spread of any infectious disease.

Undersecretary of Ministry of Education Dr. Ali Al-Yaqoub confirmed Sunday that the ministry is ready to adapt to all health conditions in the country through a tight plan. “Regarding latest update at the operations theatre at the ministry, health status inside schools in all the educational zones is stable”, the number of coronavirus cases is normal and there is no cause for panic”, said Dr. Al-Yaqoub in a statement to KUNA.

Midterm tests in the intermediate and secondary stages are proceeding normally without any obstacles, the official confirmed. “Out of our responsibility as educational officials, we are keen to maintain professional educational standars and implement health regulations in order to achieve the desired goals of the educational process”, he added. “The (A and B) categories system adopted during the first semester is approved right now and will be applied in the second semester without any changes, there is no decision until now to return to the online learning”, Al- Yaqoub explained.

The implementation of the distance education plan as in the academic year 2020-2021 represents the last option of the Ministry of Education and depends on the nature of health developments in the country, he said.. “Our aspirations, hopes and goals are directed towards the return of full formal education in schools as was done before the Corona pandemic”, he continued. Regarding the go-ahead given to some private schools to use distance education, Al-Yaqoub said that the decision was made temporarily until all staff members ends their quarantine period, especially for those coming from abroad, he confirmed.

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