OpinionOthers

Back to work

Muna Al-Fuzai

The days of the comprehensive curfew are close to their end, according to the date that was previously set by the Kuwaiti government – May 30. I think a partial curfew is possible as a preparation for people to return to work gradually, so it is natural for everyone to think about returning to business.

I think the reopening of malls and businesses is an essential step for economic activity to be restored gradually, taking into account security and health protection measures that must be taken in such an exceptional case, especially since the targeted reopening does not target a specific sector but all businesses. I am very supportive of this decision, especially since I have often said that a total curfew will not benefit anyone as long as people do not adhere to health standards for the prevention of the virus.

I think the retail sector, including restaurants, is a priority for people and owners. These days, I have been following several sites that are preparing for a new return soon. I believe that enabling these entities to resume their activities, as long as they take into account the health situation and follow the highest precautionary measures, will help everyone attain a balance between preserving the health of citizens and expats and restarting the economic cycle.
Observing the limit on the number of customers in stores and commercial complexes such as cooperative societies, in addition to commitment to specific working hours, will be a new change, but for the good. I think the same rule will apply to banks and workplaces.
I think that there are important sectors related to people’s financial and nutritional needs that cannot be stopped, like auto repair and spare part shops, because people cannot carry out work without a car. Therefore, opening these shops with strict adherence to health standards following the imposition of a law that punishes those who do not wear masks or gloves is needed.

I think that the opening of commercial malls, even with low occupancy rates, will have a positive effect in relieving economic pressure, especially since the shutdown has led to significant losses for companies and employees, as the coronavirus crisis led to a large segment of people losing their jobs, especially in the retail sector, which is very unfortunate, because eternal closure will put the local market in a long-term economic crisis, and this cannot be accepted anywhere.

We must take into account the financial impact on companies whose business is idle, stressing that strengthening the implementation of the plan to reopen businesses in the country requires at the same time measures by business owners, shoppers and workers as well. Among the most important preventive measures is the sterilization of malls daily, obligating shoppers to wear facemasks and gloves, allocating rooms in malls to isolate potential cases and organizing large media awareness campaigns about prevention and protection and the importance of wearing masks and gloves.

I believe that uncertainty about when the coronavirus crisis will end along with the deterioration in oil prices exacerbates damage to the local economy, and we need to move gradually from a full economic closure to a gradual reopening of the economy, which is important, and I hope to see it soon.
Stay safe.

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