KUWAIT: Kuwait’s government Monday urged the public to abide by preventive health instructions in order to bring about success to a plan aimed at gradually restoring normal life through five phases. The government, in its weekly meeting chaired by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, urged the public to be socially responsible in order to move to the second phase of the transition to normal life. The government approved, last Thursday, a five-phase plan aimed at easing restrictions that were imposed due to the spread of coronavirus. Every phase lasts for three weeks, and health authorities will assess every phase before deciding to move to the next, providing compliance by the public.
The cabinet “urges everybody to cooperate and abide by the health instructions for the best interest of the individual and community, and to work as one team to confront this pandemic and defeat it,” Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Anas Al-Saleh said in a statement. The cabinet members discussed developments of the virus and efforts to confront it, said Saleh, also Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs. The cabinet, he added, decided to establish an entity with a mandate of following up and implementing the health authorities’ instructions throughout the five phases. It assigned the Central Agency for Information Technology (CAIT) to establish a platform to be used by the public to obtain appointments to finish their papers at government departments. Saleh said the government assigned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and affiliate companies to build and equip medical wards in halls five, six and eight at the International Fairs Ground in Mishref Area.
Areas under lockdown
Health authorities in Kuwait are monitoring the situation in areas under lockdown and lifting the restrictions on these areas depend on levels of infections and spread of coronavirus, government spokesman said Monday. “The health authorities are working on controlling the spread of the pandemic in areas under lockdown to bring the infections to acceptable levels,” Tareq Al-Mezrem told an online press conference following the cabinet meeting. Ending the lockdown, he added, depends on the “level of spread of the pandemic, rate of infections, intensity and hotspots of the virus.”
Mezrem was also asked about operation of Kuwait International Airport, and said the “return of the airport for operation will be part of the phases,” and it depended on approval of the health authorities and blessing of the government. Mezrem urged the public to comply with health instructions, including physical distancing. “We have not returned to normal life and the pandemic remains able to spread. Failure to abide by the instructions will take us back to previous phases. We should not exhaust the health authorities and to maintain the health system in the State of Kuwait in order to preserve public health,” said Mezrem.
The cabinet members, meanwhile, extended support for Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education Dr Saud Al-Harbi in the face of an interpellation submitted by MP Faisal Al-Kandari. Kuwait’s National Assembly will resume regular sessions on June 16 to discuss government’s measures against coronavirus as well as a grilling motion against Minister Dr Harbi, the Speaker said. Marzouq Al-Ghanem made the remarks in a press statement after a meeting of the Parliament’s Bureau Monday, where members of the bureau decided to resume sessions on Tuesday, June 16. He said chairmen of the house committees were called to resume their meeting this week in order to finalize all reports that would be submitted to the next session, as well as making sure health measures were properly implemented.
“The current term will be extended to compensate suspension of sessions,” said Ghanem. The first thing on the agenda of the first sessions, he added, would be a report about the government’s preparations and measures against COVID-19. The interpellation against Dr Harbi, he said, would be next unless the parliament decided otherwise. MP Faisal Al-Kandari submitted the interpellation request on Sunday, charging Dr Harbi’s alleged mismanagement of the educational process throughout the coronavirus crisis, which he claims has “caused severe harm on students.” — KUNA