THE extent that the governmental confusion has reached in terms of combating the COVID-19 pandemic is shameful, in addition to the scandals, if they are true, related to some people who are exploiting this pandemic to benefit at the expense of the general public.
The topic of this article is the decisions that the government keeps informing us about after each of its weekly meetings, as if it is conducting experiments on citizens and residents.
The curfew is no longer partial in light of the many exceptions, including a segment that almost reaches more than three quarters of the population … it is as if the virus does not spread during the time when people are allowed to walk.
Worst of all is the government’s insistence to subject the Kuwaitis returning from abroad to ridiculous and sad conditions. We are trying to understand how a citizen can be subjected to institutional quarantine in a hotel when he has a house where he can isolate himself?!
As for the issue of vaccines, that is another catastrophe, seconded by the scandal of monopolizing PCR tests.
There is no doubt that there are sums of money being spent in this regard, particularly if we go back to what was revealed during the past year about the protective masks imported from abroad, sanitizers, and other protective supplies.
The concerned ministries procured such items directly without going through the tenders department. Tens, or rather hundreds of millions went into the pockets of some. All this leads us to doubt the recent measures, especially in terms of limiting the vaccinations to a company or two, as well as monopolization of the PCR tests by one or two laboratories.
Amid all this, we want to ask – Is it an anti-pandemic campaign or is it a campaign to serve the interests of some well-connected people?
The reality is that these decisions make us deserving of pity. It has become clear that we do not have a party capable of accountability, similar to what happened in several countries where the oversight authorities discovered violations in contracts related to vaccines and medical supplies.
Such violations rendered the dismissal of ministers of Health and Commerce, and some of them are currently on trial for much lesser scandals than what is transpiring in Kuwait.
In most of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, procedures have been simplified, for example, in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Most of the residents in the UAE have been vaccinated. Swab tests are conducted in airports without any charge, meaning without the advance payment of KD 60 before a passenger boards the plane to Kuwait, and the results are released after 24 hours.
In those countries, the vaccine is given to everyone, regardless of the recipient’s nationality. We have not heard a single scandal related to encroaching on public money, as is the case with us. This makes us wonder – what is wrong in all this?
In summary, we cannot help but wonder if there is a scientific rational administration to combat this pandemic, apart from the infringement on public money and the people’s freedom.
Isn’t the confusion in the vaccination plan, which was announced recently, an indication of the absence of proper planning? Why limit the vaccines to only two companies? Why not make room for all vaccines? Are we not faced with a lie that certain vaccines are better than others?
Your Highness the Prime Minister, what we need in Kuwait is for the officials to fear Allah when dealing with the people, the country and the public money. I hope you read well what is being published and follow what the people are saying.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times