Coronavirus in KuwaitKuwait

Cabinet scraps coronavirus tests for expats

Kuwait says first case cured

KUWAIT: The council of ministers yesterday scrapped a decision requiring expats returning from 10 countries to undergo tests showing they are free of coronavirus, saying it was not possible to carry out the tests in some countries.

The decision was issued a few days ago by the civil aviation authority and supported by the health ministry and covered countries like India, Egypt, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Syria, Lebanon and several others. At an emergency meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah, the council barred all government departments from taking any decision regarding coronavirus without consulting with a ministerial committee set up to oversee such measures, according to the cabinet statement.

The council however asked authorities fighting the spread of the deadly disease to come up urgently with “practical alternatives” to guarantee that people arriving in the country are free of coronavirus, the statement said. The government decision came apparently following protests from several countries that it was difficult to apply the decision. Bangladesh yesterday issued a decision demanding that all Kuwaitis visiting the country to hold certificates showing there are free of coronavirus. The council of ministers also asked concerned authorities to import as many as 30 million surgical masks and sell them at cooperatives and pharmacies to citizens and expatriates for only 100 fils each.

MP Abdulkarim Al-Kundari said yesterday that some MPs asked the government to suspend the entry of all expatriates temporarily as part of containing coronavirus. The new development came after MP Safa Al-Hashem said on Wednesday that restrictions should be applied on the entry of expats.

In the meantime, the health ministry announced two new cases of coronavirus raising the number of infections to 58, all for people returning from Iran. The ministry also announced that the first case of coronavirus has been cured and discharged. The case is for a 34-year old Kuwaiti man. The ministry said the previous day that two people were released from the quarantines after they were found to be free of coronavirus.

By Izzak

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