By A Saleh
KUWAIT: Teachers who leave Kuwait during the schools’ impromptu coronavirus-related suspension will not be allowed to show up to work after the end of the break on March 15 unless they provide reports from the Ministry of Health (MoH) certifying they are clear of any infection. This announcement was made by Ministry of Education’s (MOE) assistant undersecretary for public education Osama Al-Sultan, and after he chaired a recent meeting with educational zone directors to discuss the latest developments and precautionary measures the ministry plans on applying in various schools after resuming the second term.
During the meeting, Sultan stressed the need to activate the role of crisis teams and handed each director a special mobile with a hotline to use in submitting real-time reports of the latest developments in case of detecting any suspected cases. Sultan also urged directors to circulate emergency numbers to all school directors to communicate 24/7 with school health departments. Sultan urged school directors to take all precautionary measures prior to resuming school by sanitizing all classes, seats, water closets and corridors, and supply facemasks for all students.
Chairman of Kuwait University’s (KU) teaching staff society Dr Ibrahim Al-Humoud said meanwhile that suspending school and the absence of all students and teaching staff members ought to be utilized to enhance COVID-19 prevention measures through three steps, starting with strict sanitization of all classes, labs and facilities, equipping college clinics with the needed detection devices and connecting those clinics with MoH centers, in addition to preparing publications with guidelines for both students and staff members.
Meanwhile, Kuwait Union of Consumer Cooperative Societies (KUCCS) Chairman Meshaal Al-Sayyar said all co-ops have been instructed to prepare full packages of products to be used to prevent COVID-19 infections and distribute them to shareholders free of charge. Sayyar added that the packages will include various sanitizers and antiseptics and that each co-op will invite shareholders to get them once they are fully prepared and ready.
Sayyar added that all local antiseptic product factories have been notified and urged to provide local co-ops with all their production to face any increase in demand. He also noted that KUCCS recently received 250,000 facemasks out of a million pieces to be distributed for free. This comes as the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) announced yesterday closing three pharmacies and a commercial store for violating the laws and regulations on selling products needed to prevent coronavirus infections.
Prison visits stopped
In the meantime, well-informed security sources announced that, effective today, all visits to the central prison and prison inmates will be suspended for a fortnight. In collaboration with MoH, the correctional facilities directorate provided a special medical team to examine all officers, warrant officers and all laborers dealing with the prison and mandated all members to wear facemasks inside the prison.
The information ministry announced plans to launch sign language services accompanying all KTV 1 and KTV2 news programs from 2 pm this afternoon. In this regard, official ministry sources said that the service will be launched upon direct instructions from assistant undersecretary for TV Saud Al-Khaldi.
Informed sources said MoH has suspended listing expat temporary employees to be laid off until the current coronavirus situation is over. The sources added that MoH had been instructed to prepare lists and databases of expats working for monthly payments pending their termination after keeping those needed, especially since their numbers had been multiplying without real productivity, which made the ministry earlier to link their monthly payment to their actual work, as some of them were appointed without showing up for work. Further, the sources said Minister Sheikh Dr Basel Al-Sabah plans to sign the termination decision once the current urgent situation is over, exempting bedoons and notifying expats by the end of July.
In other news, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) announced finishing voter registrations and displaying them at various committees until March 15, before publishing the lists in the official gazette so that voters can check them and officially request any amendments and transfers. The ministry added that final adjustments will be done by April 5 in order to update the lists prior to the coming parliamentary elections.