By Nawara Fattahova
KUWAIT: The COVID-19 Emergency Committee formed by the Council of Ministers includes field inspection teams of the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) in cooperation with the Ministry of Commerce and Kuwait Municipality, which are in charge of inspecting health requirements in different public places and businesses. As part of their inspections, PAM inspectors along with Ministry of Commerce and Industry inspectors went on an inspection tour at the Assima Mall on Wednesday.
Fatma Abdul Malik, who is in charge of the women inspection team of PAM said that the authority’s inspectors carried out more than 63,000 inspections since the beginning of the pandemic, during which they issued about 7,000 warnings and 790 fines. “These included beauty salons and other businesses violating health requirements,” she told Kuwait Times.
PAM inspectors go on these tours in teams or individually. “Sometimes we cover one governorate or certain businesses. Currently we are focusing on hotels to make sure no weddings or parties are taking place there. We also focus on salons, health clubs, tailors and medical clinics,” she added.
Once inside the shopping mall, the inspectors look for different things when checking adherence to health protocols. “Apart from wearing facemasks, we also check cosmetic stores to make sure they don’t have testers. Fitting rooms are currently available for customers, but we check that the customers are wearing facemasks and that the rooms are frequently disinfected,” stressed Abdul Malik.
Jaafar Al-Ramzi, supervising inspector of PAM, said that inspectors have been working every day since the beginning of the pandemic. “We check the health requirements and spread awareness among visitors on this issue. We also see that employees and visitors adhere to health requirements,” he pointed out.
Food and drinks are not allowed inside the stores, so that customers don’t remove their facemasks inside commercial centers, he explained. “At restaurants, we check the social distancing to be at least two meters. Each shop should have sanitizers, and the contents should not exceed more than 60 percent ethanol. The limit number of customers in each store is still applicable,” said Ramzi.
The inspectors of the Ministry of Commerce are also focusing on following health requirements during this period. “We focus on wearing facemasks, social distancing, floor signs, temperature checking and the availability of hand sanitizers. The inspectors issue warnings and undertakings, and fine the employee or business owner. Deterrent penalties may be applied on the violators,” said inspector Mithkhar Fahad.
Faisal Al-Ansari, Director of the Technical Staff to supervise goods at the Ministry of Commerce and head of the health requirements team, stated that they work on two shifts during the morning and evening periods to support the Ministry of Health in helping decrease possible infections with COVID-19.
“Joining the inspections on health requirements did not affect the work of the other department at the Ministry of Commerce. We have special departments at the ministry for each issue. We still inspect prices, licenses and other violations. We have 21 centers in all governorates, in addition to our hotline: 135 and Whatsapp number: 55135135 to receive any complaint of the consumers,” explained Ansari.