Bathrooms in malls open, but in markets …
KUWAIT CITY, July 2: Heavy presence of consumers was witnessed on the first day of the second phase of the “return to normal life” plan nearly 110 days after the closure of commercial and shopping centers, and retail stores.
The total consumer spending on the first day reached about KD 55 million, which is up by KD 4 million compared to the previous days. CEO of Shared Electronic Banking Company (Knet) Abdullah Al-Ajmi said, “The clear increase was witnessed in the values and cash withdrawals made through point of sale (POS) devices, from KD 21 million to 25 million, of which KD 600,000 were spent in the Avenues Mall, 360 Mall, Kout Mall, Marina Mall and Gate Mall.”
He stated that the value of withdrawals via POS devices in these five major malls multiplied on the first day of second phase by ten times, indicating that they reached KD 600 thousand during the period from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm compared to KD 60 thousand spent in these complexes last Monday.
While consumer spending in retail stores particularly luxury commodity stores is likely to continue during the next few period, market sources said the increase in the purchasing tendency for luxury goods, despite the implications of COVID- 19, is due to the surplus funds among citizens, supported by the banks’ decision to delay loan installments, and the additional money saved from the declined spending in the past months.
Meanwhile, “If you decide to go to a mall, you will be fine, but if your destination is Al-Mubarakiyah Market, public parks and other public or private facilities, you will have difficulty finding an open bathroom”, reports Al-Rai daily.
Between the previous decision of the Ministry of Health preventing the opening of toilets at present, and another decision issued on June 24th, it became clear that an amendment was made through the ministerial committee formed by government agencies, according to the decision of the Minister of Health Dr Sheikh Basil Al-Sabah in which one of the clauses stipulates the “toilet shall be sterilized periodically, and its use allocated to workers only.”
With the start of the second stage of the return to normal life on Tuesday, Al-Rai toured Al-Mubarakiya Market and the surrounding markets, including a number of public parks and commercial complexes, and discovered that bathrooms in the complexes are completely open, while those in the gardens are almost closed, but Al- Mubarakiya Market remains completely closed, except for the shops. In this context, Director General of Kuwait Municipality Engineer Ahmed Al-Manfouhi informed that the opening of toilets was previously prohibited, in accordance with the decision of the Ministry of Health, then it was modified.
Therefore, with the resumption of the commercial complexes to receive the public, toilets are opened according to specific health requirements, as well as the markets, parks, etc. He pointed out that explanatory posters were placed on the doors of all toilets, saying “the toilets are a highly dangerous source of transmission, please follow the correct hygiene and sterilization guidelines,”.
He stressed that all commercial complexes play the role required of them in the matter of sterilization and cleaning, while a ministerial committee formed by government agencies is also working to implement the health requirements.