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2020 coronavirus pandemic in Kuwait

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2020 coronavirus pandemic in Kuwait
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationKuwait
First outbreakChina
Index caseKuwait City
Arrival date24 February 2020
Confirmed cases342[1]
Suspected cases847[1]
Recovered81
Deaths
0
Total ILI cases236
Official website
https://corona.e.gov.kw/
Suspected cases have not been confirmed as being due to this strain by laboratory tests, although some other strains may have been ruled out.

The first confirmed case of the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Kuwait was announced on 24 February 2020.

Response

All commercial flights were suspended effective March 13, with an exception for cargo flights. A public holiday was declared for March 12 to March 26, with work to resume on March 29. Some shops were closed, and restrictions were placed on restaurants.[2] Authorities asked people to stay home for Friday prayers, saying "The doors of the mosques will stay closed" and citing a fatwa allowing people not to attend prayers in mosques.[3] Classes were suspended from March 1 to March 12, which was extended to March 29,[2] and later to August 4.[4]

Visas were partially suspended, and quarantines required for all arrivals from certain high-risk countries. Arrivals at Kuwait International Airport from other countries were required to self-quarantine for 14 days.[2] The borders with Iraq and Saudi Arabia were closed.[5]

Food exports were banned, and Trade Minister Khalid Al Roudan reassured people that the country had enough food and shipping was continuing.[5]

On March 15, Interior Minister Anas Al-Saleh told people to follow the measures imposed by the government and stop going out unnecessarily. He warned that curfews or deportations could be used if people failed to comply.[6]

Impacts

Academic Studies:

The suspension of the schools was needed to avoid spread of the coronavirus in children, teenagers and younger people (Kindergarten up to university level).

The high school graduates (Grade 12 seniors) were the most effected by the suspension, since graduation is usually in May–June yearly. However, the academic year will be resumed in August 2020, which means their graduation will be delayed.

Furthermore, getting a sponsored scholarships to study in universities, will also be delayed due to the same reasons.

Economics:

The strategic planning and surplus for food and supplies is for six months. All supermarkets and grocery stores have all usual products as before the border closure or the imposed partial curfew.

However, the small businesses are the most effected since they are losing a lot of money, and yet, have to pay rent / salaries to their workers. The government have promised packages and solutions to ensure these businesses are compensated for these unfortunate circumstances with the partial lockdown / forced closures.

People:

The measures made by the Kuwaiti government are world class. All the Kuwaities and non-Kuwaities are appreciative of the efforts that was put in place to ensure the control of the coronavirus. However, there is a sense of rush in buying supplies in non curfew hours (4 Am to 5 PM), even though the Kuwaiti government have reiterated that goods and supplies are for six months.

The partial lockdown, staying at home and social distancing has caused boredom for the majority, as cinemas, malls, department stores entertainment venues/ places ....etc., are shut and closed. Normal things like exercising in the gym, or eating outside people homes, suddenly unacceptable, shut and closed due to the coronavirus.

The full physiological effects for the partial lockdown and curfew are yet to be determined.

Timeline

February

On 24 February, Kuwaiti Ministry of Health announced that there were 3 cases detected coming from Iran that carry coronavirus disease 2019. The first person was a Kuwaiti national, 53 years old, while the second was a Saudi national, 61 years old, and the third was a person from the stateless community.[7] Later, 2 cases were announced in that same day.[8] At the end of 24 February, there were 5 confirmed cases in Kuwait.

On 25 February, Kuwaiti Ministry of Health announced that there were 4 new cases coming from Iran with coronavirus disease 2019.[9] At the end of 25 February, there were 9 confirmed cases in Kuwait.

On 26 February, Kuwaiti Ministry of Health announced that 16 news cases have been reported with the novel coronavirus, associated with travel to Iran.[10] At the end of 26 February, there were 25 confirmed cases in Kuwait.

On 27 February, Kuwaiti Ministry of Health announced new 18 cases associated with travel to Iran.[11] At the end of 27 February, there were 43 confirmed cases in Kuwait.

On 28 February, Kuwaiti Ministry of Health announced new 2 cases associated with travel to Iran.[12] At the end of 28 February, there were 45 confirmed cases in Kuwait.

On 29 February, Kuwaiti Ministry of Health announced that there were no new cases. At the end of February, there were 45 confirmed cases in Kuwait.

March

On 11 March, Kuwaiti Directorate General of Civil Aviation has suspended all travel, except cargo flights, to and from Kuwait starting from 13 March, effectively locking down the nation until further notice.[citation needed]

On 12 March, Kuwaiti Ministry of Health announced 8 new cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 80.

On 13 March, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health announced 20 new cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 100. The Public Authority Of Agriculture Affairs And Fish Resources closed public parks, and the ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs announced just before noon prayers that Muslims do not need to attend Friday prayers during a pandemic.[13][14]

On 15 March, the ministry of health announced 11 new cases for a total of 123.[6]

On 18 March, the Ministry of Health announced 6 new cases for a total of 148. More than 14,000 swipe tests had been conducted by this point.[15]

On 21 March, the Ministry of Health announced 17 new cases for a total for 176.[16]

References

  1. ^ a b "COVID 19 Updates". e-govkw.
  2. ^ a b c "Coronavirus in Kuwait: What we know so far". news.kuwaittimes.net. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Gulf States Cancel Events, Kuwait Shuts Mosques Over Coronavirus". Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  4. ^ "Kuwait closes schools till August". news.kuwaittimes.net. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Kuwait Gears Up for Coronavirus Lockdown, Minister Urges Calm". The New York Times. 12 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Interior minister warns of curfew, expat deportation". news.kuwaittimes.net. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  7. ^ "Kuwaiti health ministry of health confirms first 3 COVID-19 cases". 24 February 2020.
  8. ^ "Kuwaiti health ministry of health confirms 2 more COVID-19 cases". 24 February 2020.
  9. ^ "Kuwaiti health ministry of health confirms 4 more COVID-19 cases". 25 February 2020.
  10. ^ "Kuwaiti health ministry of health confirms 16 more COVID-19 cases". 26 February 2020.
  11. ^ "Kuwaiti health ministry of health confirms 19 more COVID-19 cases". 27 February 2020.
  12. ^ "Kuwaiti health ministry of health confirms 2 more COVID-19 cases". 29 February 2020.
  13. ^ "Prayers restricted across Middle East amid coronavirus fears". Al-Jazeera. 13 March 2020.
  14. ^ Etheridge, Jamie (13 March 2020). "Kuwait extends lockdown by closing mosques, parks; no curfew as cases surge to 100". Kuwait Times. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  15. ^ "Six new coronavirus cases in Kuwait, total infections at 148". news.kuwaittimes.net. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  16. ^ "Kuwait: 17 new coronavirus cases, total at 176". 21 March 2020.

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