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MPs show ire at govt decisions regarding COVID-19 restrictions

‘No room for selectivity, moodiness in state of law’

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 6: The decisions issued by the Council of Ministers during the extraordinary meeting as part of its efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic has aroused the ire of the MPs, especially with regard to the closure of restaurants, commercial centers, barber shops and health clubs.

They say the decisions put restrictions on some activities without justification and leads to worsening the economic and financial crisis in some sectors.

The deputies have called on the government to reconsider some decisions and back-track them because of their negative impacts on the economic and social conditions. MP Osama Al-Shaheen stressed that there is no room for selectivity and moodiness in the state of law, and said he is surprised by the decisions of the Council of Ministers to close some shops and activities

He announced that a parliamentary question will be put to the minister of health to find out how these activities are related to the increase in the number of people infected with the virus and whether decisions were taken based on an epidemiological study or is it just on moods of some people.

Al-Shaheen said, “the recent Cabinet decisions has taken us by surprise, so I asked the Minister of Health Sheikh Basil Al-Sabah about the extent of the connection between the activities that the Cabinet decision to close exclusively some outlets and the increase in corona infections, especially with what is reported among citizens that the increase in infections was caused by the arrival of some aircraft, and he wondered why the government held the health clubs and personal care centers responsible.

He mentioned that there are complaints about selectivity in dealing with the economic issue, noting that deferring the payments of installments by owners of small and medium enterprises is a good decision, but what about others who are not registered and financed by commercial banks, so “I made a proposal with a desire to include them in the decision, because corona pandemic does not distinguish between small enterprises and entrepreneurship.”

Closure
MP Yusef Al-Fadhala called on the Cabinet to review the closure decisions and withdraw them, while stressing on the existence of the continued opening of activities, and what has already affl icted the project owners is sufficient. He said: “You are aware of the problem you have at the land and air ports,” he added. Commenting on the decisions to close health clubs and other shops and hairdressing salons, and justifying the increase in cases from these activities, he said: “It is not the truth, and after a year’s experience, the Cabinet did not benefit from the fact that the problem is not in the work of projects but their decisions still harm projects.”

MP Dr Abdullah Al-Turaiji called on the Council of Ministers, to review its decisions, especially those that affect young people in the private sector and owners of small and medium enterprises, stressing that the government must benefit from the experiences of some countries that have succeeded in containing the epidemic without harming the economy.

He said in a press statement everyone agrees on the need for concerted efforts to contain and eliminate the virus, which has mutated that concern health authorities in all countries of the world, but this is not a justification for making improvised decisions that negatively affect the lives of citizens. MP Osama Al-Munawer called the decision ill-considered because the Council of Ministers has not taken into account the consequences or the situation of the simple Kuwaiti traders. Al-Munawer added in a statement to journalists the people are convinced that all decisions are made in the interest of a group of merchants.

By Abdul Rahman Al-Shimmari Al-Seyassah Staff

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