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MPs react to coronavirus – Calls for quarantines

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 24: A number of MPs have reacted to news on the discovery of three coronavirus cases among passengers who came from Iran. MP Muhammed Barrak Al-Mutair called on ministries of Health and Interior to quarantine all those on board the aircraft from Iran and those who interacted with them.

He also urged Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) to refrain from using the aircraft which came from Iran to any other destinations, while asking all citizens to cooperate with the concerned authorities.

MP Abdullah Fehad said the Cabinet should meet immediately to issue the required decisions such as canceling events during the national holidays.

MP Muhammad Hadi Al-Hewailah stressed the importance of declaring the highest alert level in hospitals and isolating patients exhibiting flu symptoms.

MP Yousef Al-Fadalah asserted the incumbent minister of health does not deserve to remain in his position once proven he succumbed to political pressure when he imposed house arrest on those suspected of being infected with coronavirus, instead of confining them in isolation rooms in hospitals. He also asked the Ministry of Education to suspend classes for one month, considering some expatriate teachers are currently on vacation in their countries where coronavirus cases have been discovered.

MP Abdulkareem Al-Kandari pointed out the Ministry of Health should declare coronavirus as an infectious disease according to Law No. 8/1969 which gives wide range of powers to the ministry to take decisions and enforce precautionary procedures. He underscored the need for the government to impose compulsory quarantine on all passengers from countries where the virus continues to spread.

On the other hand, MP Saleh Al-Ashour cited the Constitution which stipulates no citizen should be prevented from entering the country by land or air regardless of the reason. He asked the ministries of Health and Interior to consider this fact and take the necessary measures.

MP Mubarak Haif Al-Hajraf described the way of dealing with passengers from Iran as irresponsible and that it has nothing to do with relevant medical protocols; asserting that quarantine must be executed in hospitals, not in houses or hotels.

MP Muhammad Husain Al-Dallal emphasized the importance of supporting the efforts of the Health Ministry and medical teams. He called for avoidance of raising doubts on such efforts and spreading terrifying rumors.

National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al- Ghanim affirmed that he contacted Minister of Health Dr Bassel Humoud Hamad Al-Sabah who invited the MPs to attend the presentation of his ministry regarding coronavirus at 5:00 pm on Monday.

MP Abdulkareem Al-Kandari intends to grill the minister due to the failure of the Health Ministry to execute quarantine properly for passengers from Iran as this endangered the life of citizens. He added the government must cancel celebrations and seriously think about suspending classes in schools and university.

MP Sa’adoun Hammad revealed in a press statement that one of the three coronavirus patients is a GCC citizen; indicating his country refused to accept him, and then asked Kuwait to let him stay here and provide healthcare for him. He said the Kuwaitis suffering from corona must receive medical care in Iran and Kuwait should send them the required medical crew, instead of receiving these patients here.

MP Osama Al-Shaeen commented on the statement of several MPs earlier that they agree with the health minister on allowing passengers from Iran to take 14 days sick leave and stay in their homes, asserting any political interference in technical and medical issues is totally rejected.

In another development, MP Adel Al-Damkhi said the steps taken by Al-Ghanim during the Feb 18 session were illegal. He pointed out that he submitted a request to withdraw the bill on granting amnesty to those convicted of storming the National Assembly building before the end of discussions, not after as Al-Ghanim said. He disclosed he handed over the request to the Secretariat General of the Assembly before the end of the discussion but the request was forwarded to Al-Ghanim later. He added he asked Al-Ghanim to allow him to clarify the issue during the session, but the latter refused.

By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff

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