By B Izzak & KUNA
KUWAIT: Health Minister Sheikh Dr Basel Al-Sabah yesterday said although the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has spread in many countries, there are no reported cases of the strain in Kuwait. On the sidelines of celebrating the opening of the Al-Funaitees Medical Center, Sheikh Basel confirmed that the ministry’s procedures in this regard were exceptional even before the existence of this mutation.
Health regulations and procedures imposed in Kuwait had prevented this virus from spreading among citizens and residents, the minister noted. “We urge all people to keep wearing their masks in closed areas, get vaccinated, get the third booster dose and do their PCR tests,” he stressed. He added that even with the good vaccination rate in the country, the number of cases will rise if the new variant spreads in the country, and this is why “we have to increase our protection level among the people and society”.
Sheikh Basel said that the ministry conducted genetic sequencing during previous periods to make sure there was no such mutation in the country. “Although people appear fearful of the new mutation, we can assure that this mutation is similar to the regular seasonal flu viruses; therefore the effectiveness of vaccines varies from one period to another,” he added.
He pointed out that the effectiveness of vaccinations now lies in reducing the possibility of severe symptoms and not only transmitting the infection, as happened with the (Delta) variant. “We are not only concerned with infection, but with patients in intensive care, severe symptoms and death cases. The vaccines are still effective in this respect, and next year will witness the introduction of new vaccines,” he confirmed.
Regarding the vaccination of children aged five to 11 years old, Sheikh Dr Basel confirmed that the ministry of health has opened registration for this age group and the process to obtain the appropriate vaccine for children.
Sheikh Basel also announced the launch of a mobile application called Q8Seha, stating that it will provide reports of all types of tests and x-rays conducted in the public healthcare sector. He said 70 percent of tests will be available and the rest will follow in the coming months, adding this will be in collaboration with the Kuwait Mobile ID app in order to ensure the identity of users, as the information provided is very sensitive.
On the Funaitees center, Sheikh Basel said the 107th center in Kuwait will service residents of the area. He added it includes several types of clinics, a laboratory, a workshop, nursing rooms and the administration. He added that several other projects will be launched, including another center in Funaitees. Director of Ahmadi medical area Dr Ahmad Al-Shatti said the Funaitees Medical Center is the 30th in Ahmadi and eighth in Mubarak Al-Kabeer governorate.
Sheikh Basel said the center will only be open during the morning period, as this is only the preliminary launch and will include primary medical care, three clinics and dressing rooms for children, women and men. He also touched on pharmacy preparations, saying the upcoming phase will include expansion in specialized clinics including a diabetes clinic, chronic illness clinics, maternity and infant clinics, as well as labs.
Dr Shatti clarified that a dentistry unit will be available in the coming stages, adding the opening of medical centers reflects belief in importance of primary medical care, expressing pride in the number of medical centers in Kuwait. – KUNA