By B Izzak
KUWAIT: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation yesterday denied reports that it has exempted some people from taking the PCR coronavirus test while arriving in the country. The agency said on its Twitter account that every person arriving in Kuwait through the international airport must undertake the PCR test to prove they are free of the coronavirus disease.
The Center for Government Communication also released a statement in which it said social media rumors about certain people being excluded from having to hand in a COVID-19 test report upon arrival in Kuwait were untrue. These tests are “mandatory, according to health requirements, for all nationalities and groups coming to the State of Kuwait,” it said.
A decision by the council of ministers to ban Kuwaiti citizens who have not been vaccinated from leaving the country was yesterday published in the Kuwait Al-Youm official gazette despite strong criticism and a court case challenging the legality of the decision. The publication means that the decision has become official but it will take effect starting May 22 as per the decision.
The health ministry said yesterday that it will resume giving the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine from Tuesday after shipments have arrived in the country. Last week, the ministry extended the second dose from three months to four months citing unavailability of the vaccine from the manufacturers.
The Ministry of Health launched yesterday the second phase of COVID-19 vaccine field units, as it includes providing vaccines to workers in malls and commercial centers around the country. Ministry spokesman Dr Abdullah Al-Sanad said in a statement that this service is part of the ministry’s efforts to combat the spread of the pandemic. The units are provided with the various necessary equipment in order to ensure smooth functioning of the vaccination procedures and application of all precautionary measures, Dr Sanad said.
The campaign operated yesterday at the Avenues Mall in two periods, and it was expected to provide the first dose of vaccination to around 10,000 people working in the mall, he added. More than 34,758 employees who have direct contact with the public received vaccinations through this service in its first stage, he said. Dr Sanad praised efforts of those in charge of the campaign and the medical staff participating in the various vaccination centers who continue to perform their duties according to the best quality standards.
The Ministry of Health had on Saturday reported seven new COVID-19 deaths and 1,095 infections registered in the previous 24 hours. Dr Sanad said that the total fatalities increased to 1,635, and the caseload to 284,076 as of Saturday. He added that the total recoveries have reached 268,316 after 1,399 patients recovered from coronavirus over the same period, making the recovery rate 94.45 percent out of the conducted tests.
Moreover, 14,125 patients in total were receiving health care as of Saturday, including 210 at intensive care units, he said. Meanwhile, 7,747 tests were conducted over the same period, with infection rate 14.13 percent, making the total conducted tests 2,396,532, he added. Dr Sanad renewed his call on the public to maintain social distancing and to abide with all health regulations that would help in limiting the virus’ spread.