BOTH the citizens and expatriates living in Kuwait have been urging the government to reconsider its measures related to the total lockdown and bring an end to it, either after the unhappy “coronic” Eid holidays or by the end of May. This is due to the fact that most governments in various Western, Eastern and Arab countries have made similar decisions, and our government will appear odd if it doesn’t take such a step.
We live only once, and our Lord is one; neither the partial curfew nor the total lockdown can stop fate once it knocks on someone’s door.
All that our government needs to do is guide us on what we should do when we go out. So far we have completely memorized such guidelines, which are – wearing face masks and gloves, observe social distancing of about one meter, and avoid gatherings.
Life is in the hands of the Almighty, but we ought not to cast ourselves into destruction; the Almighty is powerful over all things.
The novel coronavirus (COVID 19) has spread in all corners of the world and has led all the countries to face tough options. However, the necessity of life requires us to open up economic sectors at a pace that guarantees the resumption of work at the earliest opportunity. Continuing to close these sectors would generate more tangible and intangible losses such that many of these losses will only appear at later stages.
Failure to return to normal life will cause large numbers of local workforce and expatriate manpower to enter the list of the unemployed. Closed institutions will bleed, many of which face the risk of bankruptcy.
At the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, the Chinese president said people’s lives are a priority but their livelihoods are also a priority.
Here we appeal to our rational government to be aware of this fact, take appropriate measures to restore life to normal step by step while upholding the recommendations issued by the World Health Organization, and adopt all necessary precautions.
Life has to return to normal, and the losses are increasing every passing day. The rate of infection rate has not declined since the total lockdown came into effect. A quick look at the stats on the infection rates shows that the number is on a constant rise, due to which it is therefore time to focus on the livelihood of people and their interests.
In this regard, we must say that the coronavirus crisis has perhaps alerted some of our officials to be keen and open their doors for the Kuwaiti youth, who are eager for economic openness, to listen to their creative ideas. They are educated and creative energies, so listen to them and consider their opinions. Feel their pain and suffering in order to create a productive economy that would support the rentier economy.
Unfortunately, some of the officials close their doors and ears, and reject anything new, sticking to their old habits that are outdated. We are in times of the digital economy; hence, take it easy and accommodate our future generations and their potential.
Here, I must appeal to the managing director of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation to humble himself and appreciate the concerns of the emerging companies by finding solutions to their challenges. May he open his heart and mind and listen to his compatriots who have worked their way using their knowledge and hands to establish small and medium enterprises.
Among them are enlightened youth with potential, competent engineers and educated people who are suffering in all aspects; so listen to their opinions and engage in constructive dialogues, whose interest would be first and foremost Kuwait, their beloved country.
By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli
Former Minister of Oil