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Health Minister urges abidance by Cabinet decisions on coronavirus

Health Minister Sheikh Dr Basel Al-Sabah

KUWAIT: Minister of Health Sheikh Dr Basel Al-Hmoud Al-Sabah stressed the importance of sticking to the Cabinet’s decisions on health guidelines to maintain epidemiological stability in the country. Speaking to KUNA and Kuwait TV on Monday following the Cabinet’s exceptional meeting, Dr Basel said the health situation is stable, thanks to Allah, but we need to maintain it. The Omicron variant has spread rapidly in many countries all over the world, and it is expected to prevail within two months, he said. Therefore, the decisions made by the Cabinet must be implemented and backed to preserve the good results achieved by the state, he noted.

The minister said that the decisions are in the public interest and maintain the stability of the epidemiological situation in Kuwait. He advised people not to travel at present, unless necessary, stressing the importance of abiding by health guidelines, mainly wearing facemasks in gathering places and closed-door areas. The minister urged all people to take a third booster shot of the anti-virus vaccine, as results have proved its efficacy against the variant or severe symptoms in case of infection. He thanked the ministry’s staff and teams at all medical facilities who have been working over the past two years since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Earlier in the day, the Cabinet studied the ministerial coronavirus committee’s recommendations and took some relevant decisions. Due to the tangible increase in the coronavirus cases in many countries around the world, the Cabinet advised both citizens and expats not to travel, unless necessary, and to follow all health guidelines and precautions to overcome this phase. The Cabinet tasked the field teams and committees with implementing accurately the health requirements to stem the outbreak of coronavirus.

The Cabinet said that all incoming passengers must have a negative PCR test 48 hours ahead of arrival in Kuwait. After arriving in Kuwait, the passengers are subject to a 10-day home quarantine, but they can end the quarantine before this period if they have a negative PCR test 72 hours after their arrival. This decision will come into effect as of December 26. Meanwhile, the Cabinet was briefed on Health Minister’s decision that those who have been vaccinated against the COVID-19 nine months earlier must obtain a booster dose as of January 2.

Later Monday, Kuwait’s Health Ministry announced that 80 people tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, taking the total to 414,178. The recoveries rose by 25 to 411,118, while death toll from the pandemic remained unchanged at 2,466, the Ministry’s Spokesman Dr Abdullah Al-Sanad said. There were three ICU cases as of Monday, while 594 others were being treated, in addition to 17 patients at COVID-19 wards, he noted. Medical swabs conducted over the same period hit 22,400, raising the total to 5,738,643, Sanad made clear. — KUNA

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