As cases of the novel coronavirus in Kuwait rise, the country continues to impose necessary measures. For the past few weeks, authorities have imposed school closures, suspended flights and mass transport, restricted public gatherings, and more recently, imposed a partial curfew.
On Saturday, Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Anas Al-Saleh announced an 11-hour curfew from 5:00 pm to 4:00 am starting Sunday, 22nd March 2020. During these hours, at least, streets and highways across the country are deserted.
Kuwait Imposes 11-hour Curfew to as Part of COVID-19 Measures
Al-Saleh also said that a public holiday due to end on 26th March would be extended for two weeks, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported. These announcements were made as part of the country’s stringent measures to help contain and prevent COVID-19.
The head of the Union of Consumer Co-Operative Societies, Meshaal Al-Seyar, said that cooperative stores in Kuwait are abiding by the curfew. However, goods will still be delivered during curfew time. Consumers can pay via K-Net (online), then volunteers in each district will deliver the goods to houses. A special permit will be issued to the volunteers.
Meanwhile, store workers can obtain a special permit from the Ministry of Interior, but they must stay inside the stores during curfew time. Supply stores can operate between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm. Restaurants, however, would remain closed during the curfew.
Public Gatherings Restricted
On Saturday, the Kuwaiti Cabinet once again called on all citizens and residents to avoid public gatherings, urging everyone to follow all the guidelines issued by state agencies to hinder the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Cabinet also warned that any shop or market where people gathered would be closed. Meanwhile, foodstuff stores are allowed to operate, along with online selling and buying operations.
Curfew-breakers to be Penalized
Also on Saturday, Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Anas Al-Saleh warned that anyone caught outside during curfew time will be fined KWD 10,000 and jailed for up to three years.
Al-Saleh stated that the military will be on standby to help security forces enforce the curfew, mentioning that the Kuwaiti Cabinet has tasked the National Guard to help the Ministry of Interior on the matter.
As for foreign residents, Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah assured that his ministry has drawn up a plan to evacuate citizens abroad. The plan would prioritize old people, minors, patients in critical situations, and people with disabilities.
COVID-19 Cases in Kuwait
As of Sunday, 22nd March, the Health Ministry confirmed 12 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total number to 188.
The ministry spokesperson, Dr. Abdullah Al-Sanad, said that four of the new cases had been in contact with persons (two Kuwaitis and two Filipino residents) who had traveled to the United Kingdom, and one case had been in contact with a patient who arrived from Egypt. The sixth case was related to a Kuwaiti citizen who recently arrived from Brazil. Details regarding the other cases will be revealed later.
As for recovery cases, Health Minister Dr. Basil Al-Sabah said that three COVID-19 cases have recently recovered: a Kuwaiti male, a Kuwaiti female, and a Spanish resident. So far, 30 cases have recovered in the country.
As the Kuwaiti government continues to impose measures, let us do our part by following their instructions, including the curfew. Let us also avoid public gatherings and stay at home. In the meantime, here are some tips to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.