KUWAIT CITY, Feb 8, (Agencies): National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Ali Al- Ghanim said on Sunday that His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Hamad Al-Sabah expressed his understanding of the suffering of entrepreneurs, owners of small and medium enterprises and activities affected by lockdown decision to confront the spread of coronavirus (Covid 19).
In a statement, Al-Ghanim, said that he met the premier and he was “cooperative and understanding, and he is working to resolve issues related to health precautionary measures and to alleviate the suffering of business owners and activities.” Al-Ghanim expressed optimism that the premier would be “able to take steps that alleviate the suffering of entrepreneurs and owners of small and medium businesses affected by these decisions.”
The Speaker also said he believed that violations committed by some store owners should not be generalized, as the matter calls for tougher punishment for the violator and not punish those who adhere to regulations. Al-Ghanim stressed that he “hopes from His Highness the Prime Minister and those concerned in the government would listen to the suffering of small business leaders, today or tomorrow at the latest, in order to provide solutions to quickly take measures and help owners from going bankrupt.” With regard to sports activity, Al-Ghanim said, “it is true that there are some violations that must be stopped, especially attendance by fans for some matches,” indicating at the same time that “when violations occur, they must be met with conditions, penalties and procedures towards those who violate, and not to stop sports activity as a whole.”
Meanwhile, Fahd Abdul-Rahman Al-Mujil says the Kuwaiti Diwans reject what he called the illconsidered decisions related to economic, social and living aspects, reports Al-Seyassah daily. Speaking on behalf of the Kuwaiti Diwans, Al- Mujil said, “Because of the Corona pandemic, we and the world are still living in an exceptional and delicate circumstances that requires the highest levels of awareness and national commitment … at a time when the government of the State of Kuwait is trying to make efforts to control this epidemic.”
He added, “But there are some decisions issued by the Council of Ministers on the recommendation of the health authorities, which we believe are not studied especially those related to the economic, social and living aspects of many small and mediumsized enterprises owners of all kinds. We are not against closure, but against cutting off livelihoods.” He pointed out that: “On the other hand, we see many people coming to Kuwait from abroad some without respecting the requirements of the hour, at a time when more stringent measures are being imposed locally.”
He went on to say, from the position of national and social responsibility, the Kuwaiti Diwans gathering stresses the need for commitment and strictness in applying the law for those who do not adhere to health and preventive requirements, but in return the government must deal with this crisis with more transparency and discipline to ensure any decisions don’t affect the citizen and his livelihood. Al-Mojil stressed in his statement, “We support measures to confront the Corona pandemic, but in return the government must take clear measures to support those affected by these measures, and it must be taken into account that the economic crisis faced by young and medium-sized business owners in particular and the rest of society in general is no less important and dangerous than the health crisis, therefore, addressing it and taking it into consideration and importance is an absolute duty and necessity.”
He expressed his sincere thanks and gratitude to all frontline workers who work to combat the spread of this epidemic, including health, security, monitoring cadres and others, Kuwaiti male and female volunteers and others. With the ban on the activities of health establishments and salons taking effect on Sunday, the owners of these establishments adhered to the closure decision while the Health Regulations Committee formed by the Council of Ministers intensified its inspection efforts to ensure strict compliance with the decision, reports Al-Qabas daily.
Tariq Asad, head of the Barbershops Union, assured the daily that “everyone is committed to the decisions issued by the government agencies” noting that the only objection is the implementation mechanism. “We will submit the recommendations of the union and its reports on ensuring that work is in accordance with the health regulations without harming the owners of enterprises and the workers,” Asad revealed.
A parliamentary-ministerial committee consisting of the health minister, state minister for Cabinet affairs and two members of the Parliament will meet soon to discuss the resumption of the abovementioned of activities. The committee tasked to follow up the implementation of health regulations has started inspecting the concerned establishments. The committee members are from Kuwait Municipality, Ministry of Interior, Public Authority for Manpower and Ministry of Commerce. The committee met recently to lay down a mechanism to uncover violations.
Official sources said the committee divided its teams among the governorates, indicating the recommendation is for the committee to issue warnings to whoever violates the decision within the first four days of implementation to ascertain that the concerned establishments remain closed. After issuing warnings, the committee will move to the next stage – more severe steps such as withdrawing and canceling the licenses if the violation is repeated, canceling the residency permits of workers and referring them for deportation.
At a time when the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Tourism and Travel Offices, Muhammad Al-Mutairi, disclosed the average operating losses suffered by the 450 travel offices operating inside Kuwait was 88 million dinars during the Corona pandemic lockdown of the country, at a rate of 8 million dinars per month, today, the Kuwait International Airport (KIA) began implementing the Cabinet’s decision to prevent the entry of non-Kuwaitis into Kuwait for two weeks, with the exception of first-degree relatives and domestic workers who are registered on the ‘Balsalama’ platform, medical staff and personnel working in diplomatic missions, reports Al-Qabas daily.
The airport is in a state of relative calm as passengers who landed at the airport were ‘ushered’ in by technical and health officials who are on duty to ensure all precautionary measures are taken from the moment they disembark from the plane until they leave the airport gates. An airport source said, a total of 65 flights operated from the KIA – 33 departures and 32 arrivals, including 5 from Dubai, 4 from Istanbul, 2 flights from Doha, and a flight each from Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Al-Mutairi told Al-Qabas daily there is no increase of virus because of arrivals or departures and there is no need to close it, especially in light of the strictly adhering to the tests for incoming passengers who have to take two PCR tests, in addition to a third scan after a compulsory quarantine for a period of seven days in a hotel. And, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) said no decision has yet been taken to reduce the percentage of workers in government institutions, contrary to what has been rumored because of the increasing number of infections, reports Al-Jarida daily quoting reliable CSC sources.