THE mistakes committed in recent months in the process of combating COVID-19 pandemic necessitate everyone to assume their moral and legal responsibilities, because the situation has turned disastrous for Kuwaitis who are stuck abroad due to the failure of electronic applications imposed by the government on people.
The app “Kuwait Mosafer” has caused tragedies to hundreds, if not thousands, of citizens, who have been humiliated in every sense of the word. Indeed, Kuwaitis were humiliated in terms of being prevented from boarding any plane heading to their country due to their failure in fulfilling difficult questions posed by that infamous application.
They were forced to sleep on the floors of airports while waiting for the relief that did not come, such that they had to return from where they came. For those who do not have a home in those countries, they incurred huge sums of money for overnight stays in hotels, and for conducting PCR tests more than once, in addition to the KD 60 previously imposed by the government on each returnee to the country, which was later reduced to KD 20.
On the other hand, all that the travelers needed in other countries was a PCR test in order to exit. Also, in other countries, such tests are conducted free of charge at airports like Dubai and others. Even in the wounded Beirut Airport, personnel there conduct free tests for arriving passengers. But in Kuwait, our government imposed a fine for accommodation in local hotels, even for those who have a home in the country.
As for the other application “Immunity”, it is another story of obstruction and increased complexity. “Shlonik” is like a nightmare imposed on the citizens and residents who had to stay in the same room for 14 days, even if their PCR test results were negative. The government has been watching all this torment and not providing any notable assistance. It seemed as if it was enjoying the miseries of the people, and was thus reluctant to even ease the almost impossible procedures in the applications.
If the concerned authority could not impose its will on the profiteers, could it perhaps be a partner in one way or another? All of them are entitled to compensation for the losses they incurred. In fact, they should be compensated for the bad psychological situation they endured, as they found themselves strangers left without a state to look after them and take care of them.
All that the government did was issue statements warning citizens of the consequences of violating any of the procedures. It is true that compensation is not sufficient, because what Kuwaitis have been subjected to abroad is much uglier than neglect. It calls for the resignation of the Prime Minister and the ministers concerned with combating the crisis due to their failure in their work. This is what happened in Germany, Britain, India, New Zealand and Austria, where the health ministers resigned at the beginning of the crisis because of mishandling the situation.
However, in Kuwait, confusion prevailed in the executive authority, despite which it seemed as if nothing had happened. In addition to the resignation, it is necessary to investigate with great transparency in order to know the truth, and expose those who tried to exploit the crisis to illegally profit from it. In this regard, we have no one to ask but our guardians – His Highness the Amir and His Highness the Crown Prince – to open these files that amount to treason, and hold accountable those who neglected, tortured and humiliated Kuwaitis.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times