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KUWAIT CITY, March 13: The Cabinet is looking into issuing a set of key decisions during a meeting scheduled to be held this week in the context of the precautionary measures implemented to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the country, especially with the continuous increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths. Meanwhile, a ministerial source revealed that the Cabinet is studying the possibility of reducing the number of hours of the curfew from 12 hours to only 10 or even nine hours, such that the curfew would start at 7:00 pm or 8:00 pm and end at 5:00 am the next day. Despite affirming that there is no intention to issue any decisions to disrupt the current curfew, which is due to end on April 8, the source alluded to the possibility of extending it for another month beyond the month of Ramadan.
In order to ease the restrictions, the source highlighted a recommendation to allow citizens and residents to exercise inside their residential areas during the curfew hours, by setting an hour or more for that purpose, while adhering to health requirements and ensuring there would be no gatherings. He also indicated the possibility of issuing a decision to allow restaurants and stores to carry out home deliveries during the curfew hours in the last two weeks of the decision, with the requirement for the delivery workers to undergo new PCR tests.
Concerning vaccines and vaccinations, the source revealed that the vaccination of expatriates will start from June and will extend over a period of three months. He stressed that, after the deadline in September, renewing the residency of any expatriate will not be allowed unless he has obtained the necessary vaccination. This comes at a time when the circle of countries that have decided to stop using the Astra- Zeneca-Oxford vaccine against COVID-19 expands, with Denmark recently joining South Africa, Austria, and Switzerland in this decision.
However, the Ministry of Health affirmed that it will continue to administer this vaccine as part of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. It insisted that no cases of blood clots or other such side effects were detected or deaths were recorded among all who received the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine in the country. According to a specialized team from the ministry that has been monitoring the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines, it is constantly following up all local and international developments related to the safety of vaccines.
Regarding the suspension of the use of this vaccine by the health authorities in Denmark and Austria until the verification of the results of some cases of blood clotting that were detected, the team stressed that the procedure is considered routine and precautionary procedure by the health authorities in the event of any unexpected symptoms until their cause is verified. It reassured citizens and residents that some side effects of the two vaccines – Pfizer and AstraZeneca – are expected, and they are not risky.
By Khaled Al-Hajri Al-Seyassah Staff