Kuwaiti gov’t re-imposes coronavirus restrictions

– The Kuwait Cabinet decided Monday to re-impose as of this Wednesday heath restrictions to curb the surge of coronavirus (Covid-19) after the infection rate in the country hit all-time highs in the recent days.

The decision was made during the weekly cabinet meeting, held via videoconference this midday under the chairmanship of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.

Minister of Health Dr. Khaled Al-Saeed briefed the meeting on the latest developments of the health situation on the local, regional and international scales, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmad Mansour Al-Sabah who doubles as acting foreign minister and minister of state for cabinet affairs.

The fast spreading Omicron variant of coronavirus pushed the daily rates of infections and hospitalizations to record highs, putting strains on the country’s health system, Al-Saeed told the cabinet members.

After mulling the latest recommendations of the Covid-19 Ministerial Emergency Committee, the cabinet decided to; First, bringing down the attendance rate at government institutions to no more than 50 percent according to the requirements of each institution and in coordination with the Civil Service Commission.

The Civil Service Commission has to set out the necessary rules of work and the working hours in a flexible way.

The decision, effective from Wednesday, January 12, 2022, sine die, will be reviewed regularly in the light of the pandemic situation. The private sector is required to bring down the attendance rate to the least possible percentage.

Second; the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Trade and Industry have to make sure that staffers of kindergartens and children clubs are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and committed to the health precautions.

Third; meetings, conferences and internal courses can be only held via video link as from Wednesday, January 12, 2022.

Fourth; the government bodies providing service to applicants have to do so online, otherwise, an appointment beforehand is required via Meta Portal, Sahel App, and similar mediums provided abidance by health precautions.

Fifth; all means of mass transportation have to limit the number passengers to 50 percent of their total respective occupancies while applying the health precautions, notably putting on facemasks.

Sixth; the Public Authority for Sport has to make sure that spectators at sports events are fully vaccinated in keeping with the Cabinet Decree No. 1058/2021.

Seventh; the government committee on following up the health precautions has to ensure that all staffers and clients of barbershops, salons and health spas are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

The cabinet also went on urging all citizens and residents to fully adhere to the instructions and requirements issued by the health authorities, the most important of which is getting the booster dose of the anti-coronavirus vaccine, wearing a mask, and avoiding gatherings.

On the other hand, the cabinet was briefed with the recommendation of the Public Services Committee on the results of the coordination meeting between the Public Corporation for Housing Welfare and government agencies regarding the development and modernization of the infrastructure of blocks (1 and 2) in the Khaitan area.

Moreover, Kuwait Municipality, in coordination with the Ministry of Higher Education, the Public Authority for Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources, the Public Authority for the Environment, the Public Corporation for Housing Welfare, and the authorities it deems appropriate, has also been assigned to take all necessary measures towards the following: Allocating South Qairouan for the benefit of the Public Institution for Housing Welfare, in accordance with the procedures in force in this regard.

The Cabinet further discussed the general service committee’s recommendations on Kuwait International Airport (T2), and relevant projects and facilities.

In the same context, the Cabinet was briefed on the report of the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development on the challenges facing the (T2) project and relevant schemes and facilities.

It was also apprised off the Ministry of Public Works’ report on works of the T2 implemented until the end of September 2021.

Moreover, the Cabinet tasked the Ministry of Public Works with continuing efforts, in collaboration and coordination with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development, and the relevant government agencies, to complete required executive measures in order to facilitate the implementation of the T2 and relevant projects and facilities.

In addition, the Cabinet discussed National Assembly affairs and was briefed on a letter submitted by Speaker of the National Assembly on an interpellation against Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Hamad Jaber Al-Ali Al-Sabah dated on January 4, 2022 from MP Hamdan Salem Al-Azmi.

The interpellation will be included on the agenda of the first upcoming session, in line with Article 135 of the National Assembly’s bylaws.

The Cabinet affirmed its full confidence in, and support to, the defense minister, extolling his positive role and responsibilities he us bearing amid these exceptional conditions facing the country and the whole world due to the Covid-19.

The ministers focused on the political affairs in light of the reports relating to the current developments on Arab and international levels.

Therefore, the Cabinet expressed Kuwait’s welcome of the UN announcement on facilitating dialogue amongst the Sudanese parties, with the aim of reaching an agreement to get out of the current crisis and establish a sustainable path towards democracy and peace that enhances peace and security as well as achieve Sudan’s unity and stability.

The ministers extolled the UN efforts made in this regard, mainly the integrated UN mission to support the transitional period in Sudan and hold political consultations amongst the parties.

The Cabinet finally emphasized the State of Kuwait’s backing to these good efforts and to Sudan in its endeavors aiming to meet aspirations of its people in security, stability and development.

Source: Kuwait News Agency