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Wednesday , July 28 2021

MP queries ‘AstraZeneca-Oxford’ delays, PCR cost, platform glitches – Travel curb hit

KUWAIT CITY, May 30: MP Osama Al-Shaheen has asked the Minister of Health Dr Basel Al-Sabah about the reason behind the delayed provision of the second dose of AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, disclosing that many people including himself are still waiting for the second dose although the interval between the two doses has already ended. He wants to know the possible damages caused by the delayed administration of the second dose of the vaccine and why the Health Ministry decided to procure the vaccine through a local agent, instead of signing a contract with the manufacturer directly. He also forwarded queries to Minister of Defense Sheikh Hamad Jaber Al-Ali in the latter’s capacity as the official responsible for the ‘Mosafer’ platform.

He asked why the citizens are forced to pay the maximum fee for PCR test, pointing out the fact that the Ministry of Health specified the maximum fee means the actual cost is less than the amount the citizens are paying. He added many citizens complained about glitches in the platform, revealing these glitches resulted in the cancellation of plane tickets and other problems. He wants to know if there is a conflict of interests, considering the company which collects fees also designed the platform.

MP Muhammad Hadi Al- Hewaila submitted a proposal to cancel the decision to prevent citizens from traveling if they are not vaccinated against covid-19. He called for allowing unvaccinated citizens and their accompanying domestic workers to travel as long as they strictly comply with the health regulations laid down by the Ministry of Health. He pointed out that encouraging citizens to get vaccinated does not entail depriving them of the right to travel, which is stipulated in Article 31 of the Constitution.

MP Khalid Al-Otaibi has proposed doubling the amount granted to retirees covered by the ‘Afia’ health insurance program. He disclosed that the beneficiaries of his proposal include retirees suffering from chronic diseases and cancer, as well as the handicapped. He said these retirees usually wait for one year before getting medical care and this negatively affects their health condition.

MP Khalil Al-Saleh submitted a proposal to cancel the customs fees for imported materials as a way of controlling prices. He decided to submit such a proposal due to the remarkable increase in the prices of construction materials recently. He also suggested banning the export of construction materials and intensifying inspection campaigns to ensure strict compliance with the prices specified by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, in addition to increasing the quantity of imported construction materials.

MP Ahmed Al-Hamad submitted a bill on amending Housing Welfare Law No. 47/1993; such that the Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) grants loans to citizens, who own prefabricated or model houses, to finance the demolition and reconstruction of their houses. He said the houses will be mortgaged in order to guarantee the right of the concerned bank, indicating the loan amount is similar to the amount granted to citizens who are building new houses. MP Marzouq Al-Khalifa submitted a proposal to open Jahra Natural Reserve to the public after the construction of entertainment facilities, restaurants and cafés. He added the regulations laid down by the Environment Public Authority (EPA) and Public Authority for Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) will be taken into consideration in the opening of the natural reserve. – By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff

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