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GOVERNMENT RE-IMPOSES CORONAVIRUS RESTRICTIONS
KUWAIT CITY, Jan 11, (Agencies): Kuwait’s Ministry of Health (MoH) updated its Covid-19 guidelines within the framework of global update of the protocol for the period of isolation, due to take effect on Tuesday. MoH spokesperson Dr. Abdullah Al-Sanad said in a press release that the quarantine period for the people who came into contact with a person who tested positive would be 14 days, with the possibility for vaccinated people to end the quarantine if their PCR test showed negative in the 7th day of quarantine.
He added that the non-vaccinated people who were in contact with an infected person must quarantine for 14 days from the date of contact. He indicated that the period for an infected person was reduced to seven days for the vaccinated and 10 days for the non-vaccinated from the date of the first PCR, stressing the need to continue to wear masks covering their mouth and nose during and after the isolation period. He pointed out that the vaccinated people were those who received the third booster dose, or anyone who took the second dose within nine months, or anyone who has been infected in less than 28 days from the end of the isolation period.
Al-Sanad said that whoever received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is immunized for nine months from receiving the dose, and advised to take the booster in order to maintain effective immunity. He stressed the need to avoid gathering with others if a person feels of any symptoms. The Kuwaiti Ministry of Health announced on Tuesday recording 4,397 new infection cases with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the last 24 hours. With the new contamination cases, Kuwait’s caseload climbed to 441,999.
Dr. Abdullah Al-Sanad, the MoH spokesperson, said in a statement to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) that the medical authorities recorded 626 new recovery cases, increasing the overall count of the cured to 414,867, noting that the proportion of the healed as compared to the total number of the cases reached 93.9 percent. Dr. Al-Sanad also revealed that there was a single death due to the virus, during the past 24 hours, thus the whole figure of the deaths settled at 2,473. As to the number of people still receiving medical treatment at intensive care units, he said that there are patients in these wards. The total count of confirmed infection cases that continue to receive treatment has reached 24,659 and the number of people that are treated at the COVID-19 wards stand at 162.
Also in the same duration, the medical staff conducted 37,540 PCR tests with the number of these examinations soaring to 6,273,509, Dr. Al-Sanad said, also noting that the proportion of the infection cases to the tests reached 11.7 percent. The Kuwait Cabinet decided to reimpose as of this Wednesday heath restrictions to curb the surge of coronavirus (Covid-19) after the infection rate in the country hit all-time highs in recent days. The decision was made during the weekly cabinet meeting, held via videoconference under the chairmanship of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.
Minister of Health Dr. Khaled Al-Saeed briefed the meeting on the latest developments of the health situation on the local, regional and international scales, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmad Mansour Al-Sabah who doubles as acting foreign minister and minister of state for cabinet affairs. The fast spreading Omicron variant of coronavirus pushed the daily rates of infections and hospitalizations to record highs, putting strains on the country’s health system, Al-Saeed told the cabinet members. After mulling the latest recommendations of the Covid-19 Ministerial Emergency Committee, the cabinet decided to;
First, bringing down the attendance rate at government institutions to no more than 50 percent according to the requirements of each institution and in coordination with the Civil Service Commission.
The Civil Service Commission has to set out the necessary rules of work and the working hours in a flexible way. The decision, effective from Wednesday, January 12, 2022, sine die, will be reviewed regularly in the light of the pandemic situation. The private sector is required to bring down the attendance rate to the least possible percentage.
Second; the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Trade and Industry have to make sure that staffers of kindergartens and children clubs are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and committed to the health precautions.
Third; meetings, conferences and internal courses can be only held via video link as from Wednesday, January 12, 2022.
Fourth; the government bodies providing service to applicants have to do so online, otherwise, an appointment beforehand is required via Meta Portal, Sahel App, and similar mediums provided abidance by health precautions.
Fifth; all means of mass transportation have to limit the number passengers to 50 percent of their total respective occupancies while applying the health precautions, notably putting on facemasks.
Sixth; the Public Authority for Sport has to make sure that spectators at sports events are fully vaccinated in keeping with the Cabinet Decree No. 1058/2021.
Seventh; the government committee on following up the health precautions has to ensure that all staffers and clients of barbershops, salons and health spas are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. The cabinet also went on to urge all citizens and residents to fully adhere to the instructions and requirements issued by the health authorities, the most important of which is getting the booster dose of the anti-coronavirus vaccine, wearing a mask, and avoiding gatherings
The recent cabinet decisions include the formation of a committee whose members are from the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Health, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Central Agency for Information Technology (CAIT) tasked to review the home quarantine procedures for all travelers coming to the country through the ‘Shlonik’ application within a week, reports Al-Rai daily. The concerned inspection teams will soon launch campaigns targeting companies in the private sector and factories to ensure strict compliance with the health regulations aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus, reports Al- Qabas daily quoting sources.
Sources affirmed that the precautionary measures will continue to escalate according to the vision and recommendations of the health authorities, based on the indicators of the epidemiological situation regionally and locally. Sources said the Council of Ministers has instructed the concerned State authorities to closely monitor the epidemiological situation in the country and to intensify inspection campaigns in complexes, cooperative societies, parallel markets and others to ensure the proper application of preventive regulations such as wearing masks. Colonel Abdullah Al-Mutairi, a member of the main committee tasked to monitor the implementation of the regulations aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19, said gatherings are strictly prohibited regardless of the occasion and whoever violates this rule will be referred to the Public Prosecution, reports Al-Qabas daily.
Al-Mutairi disclosed that the penalties for the abovementioned violation include three years imprisonment or a fine of KD10,000. He then urged citizens to immediately report to the authorities in case they notice any gathering. He added: “We will closely monitor invitations to weddings and other social events.” Following the issuance of cabinet’s decision earlier this week to suspend social events and prevent gatherings, an official source from Kuwait Municipality revealed that the responsibility of closing down offices and following up the implementation of the decision falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Interior, reports Al-Qabas daily, He stressed that the supervisory teams of the municipality are inspecting shops and complexes to ensure the application of the health requirements.
The source explained that the establishment of offices in front of homes and on state properties is basically a violation. There is no official decision to allow their establishment, but it “turned a blind eye” during the spring camping period. The responsibility for not gathering inside them is not considered to be that of the municipality but of the Ministry of Interior. He insisted that the municipality spares no effort in preserving the health safety of citizens and residents who go to central markets, public markets and commercial complexes through the strict application of the health requirements on the visitors of these places in order to protect them from diseases and infections. On the other hand, the municipality highlighted on Sunday not to allow anyone – clients or employees – into its buildings if they are not wearing masks, and without taking the necessary health precautions and a prior appointment. A reliable revealed that a number of employees in some departments and sectors were infected with COVID-19 virus, and have been asked to stay under quarantine, adding that clients and employees of other departments are being prevented from entering some departments due to the spread of COVID-19 virus among a number of employees in those departments.