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Amir heads Cabinet session, hails coronavirus measures

KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah addresses the nation on Sunday. – KUNA

KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah headed yesterday the Cabinet’s extraordinary session at Dar Salwa, accompanied by HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem, and Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah.

On Sunday, HH the Amir lauded extensive measures carried out by Kuwaiti authorities and people of the country to counter the spread of COVID-19, stressing that it was time to expand solidarity to overcome this global health crisis. In a televised address, HH the Amir reflected on the situation created by the coronavirus worldwide, saying that Kuwait, unfortunately, had been affected by the global pandemic that has killed tens of thousands and infected over 300,000.

HH Sheikh Sabah indicated that he directed the government of HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah to take measures ensuring the safety of the people of Kuwait, both nationals and residents. “I have been following up with great pleasure the sequence of steps as well as bold and decisive measures taken by government bodies to counter the pandemic,” affirmed the Amir, commending the efforts of all government officials and staff to battle the coronavirus.

HH the Amir said he had directed state bodies to contact Kuwaiti citizens and students abroad to ensure they are safe and make their travel back to the country as easy as possible and in accordance with health guidelines. He praised the efforts of all those who put their lives on the line in the service of the country during these turbulent times, saying that their efforts will always be remembered.

HH the Amir also commended the National Assembly speaker and MPs for their cooperation with the Cabinet during the coronavirus crisis, saying that their collaboration will contribute to the fight against COVID-19. Sheikh Sabah also thanked all members of the society and the private sector for their positive contribution to battle the spread of the disease.

Commenting on the situation globally, the Amir expressed remorse over the impact of the coronavirus on the world, saying that it was necessary on the national level to continue the stride to safeguard Kuwait during such a crisis. “Everybody realized that food rations and supplies are abundant in the country,” said HH the Amir, who added that it was important to protect such resources from overconsumption and irresponsible use. He stressed that in the current situation, it is important to “focus on controlling the pandemic and saving lives as a priority”.

HH the Amir affirmed it was important to look forward beyond the current situation and address social, economic and educational consequences as a result of the virus spread in the future. Sheikh Sabah said that he was aware of the grave impact of the spread of the virus on the morale of Kuwaitis and residents alike; however, he affirmed that Kuwait will overcome the coronavirus through unity, solidarity and sacrifice. He urged for patience and confidence during these troubling times to overcome this grave situation.

Kuwait yesterday confirmed one new coronavirus case during the past 24 hours. During a press conference, the Health Ministry Spokesperson Dr Abdullah Al-Sanad said the case is of a Kuwaiti woman who recently returned from the UAE, bringing the number of infections in the country to 189. The spokesman revealed that out of the 189 cases, 30 have recovered and 159 are still receiving treatment. Five cases are still in the ICU. Some 702 individuals have completed the quarantine period, Sanad added. The ministry urged citizens and residents to abide by all the decisions and recommendations issued by official authorities.

The ministry of commerce and industry yesterday announced that based on a Cabinet decision, it will pay the difference in cost between air- and sea-shipped meat and foodstuff imported during the crisis. A statement issued by MoCI explained that the ministry will pay the price difference to keep prices under control and ensure the availability of goods.

The statement also explained that these measures are part of preparations made for the upcoming holy month of Ramadan and in a bid to avoid losses meat and foodstuff importers might suffer due to the increase in freight costs under the current circumstances. Expressing its keenness on providing all local market needs and strategic reserves, MoCI urged importers to visit its commercial control department.

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