Coronavirus in Kuwait: What we know so far
KUWAIT: Kuwait has recorded 7,208 cases infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as of Friday, in addition to 47 deaths. With the exception of 90 cases in intensive care, all infected cases are in stable condition and are recovering in quarantined locations designated by the government for this purpose, while hundreds have been discharged from quarantine after exhibiting no symptoms during their 14-day quarantine period, the Ministry of Health confirmed. Meanwhile, 2,466 people have recovered completely after previously being infected with the virus, while there are 4,695 people receiving treatment and 4,715 quarantined. Kuwait is taking measures to test Kuwaitis coming from infected areas for potential infection, as it has already tested thousands of people.
Kuwait imposed a total curfew from May 10 to May 30, allowing room for people to walk out for daily exercise between 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm, and to shop at co-ops once a week during the curfew hours by making an appointment through www.moci.shop. Earlier, Kuwait enforced a country-wide partial curfew from 5:00 pm to 6:00 am, which was later extended to start from 4:00 pm until 8:00 am during Ramadan, while allowing restaurants and food stores to make home deliveries from 5:00 pm until 1:00 am.The government also locked down Mahboula and Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh in a bid to contain the spread of the virus and enable health workers to test inhabitants. Earlier, the government decided to close all shopping malls, beauty salons and barber shops as part of its measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The government also allowed supermarkets, restaurants and shops to host a maximum of five people at a time and in case there are lines, the distance must be at least one meter between people.The Ministry of Commerce launched a website (www.moci.shop) to enable people to book appointments to shop at co-operative societies in their areas. The Public Authority for Industry also announced that companies can apply to evacuate their workers from Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh and Mahboula. To do so, they must fill a ‘workers evacuation form’ available on www.pai.gov.kw, and send the form via email to: Jasiri@moh.gov.kw.
Kuwait halted all commercial flights until further notice, and has sent special flights to repatriate Kuwaitis back home from countries affected with the virus’ spread. All arrivals to Kuwait from all countries are to be placed under compulsory quarantine for 14 days, during which the person is monitored, and prescribed health procedures are applied, the health ministry said. Kuwait had required all expatriates who arrived from travel on March 1 and beyond to visit Kuwait International Fairground where the Ministry of Health has set up a center to test people for possible infection. Meanwhile, the Cabinet announced on April 9 the operation of all airline flights for expats who are wishing to return back to their countries. Authorities also announced a public holiday in the country from March 12 to May 28, with work resuming on May 31, while entities providing vital services will remain open. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education has suspended classes for March at all public and private schools (for both students and teaching staffs); first from March 1 to March 12, and later extended it until March 29, before eventually suspending schools until August for grade 12 and October for other stages. State departments have been on high alert to take precautions against the potential spread of the virus. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has taken measures to make sure that facial masks, hand sanitizers and other goods remain accessible to the public.
Kuwait suspended issuing entry permits and visas unless those issued through diplomatic missions.The Interior Ministry issued an amnesty allowing residency violators to leave the country between April 1 and April 30 without paying any fines or airfare with a chance to return to Kuwait later. The amnesty was issued in view of the circumstances the country is currently going through and as part of the precautionary measures taken to fight the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). During the amnesty period, individuals desiring to procure valid residencies in Kuwait and were willing to pay the fines without being subjected to investigations were allowed to pay the fines and legalize their status if they
meet the required conditions.
The Ministry of Health has set the following hotlines to receive inquiries about the coronavirus 24/7: 24970967 96049698 - 99048619.
The Education Ministry set the following hotlines to receive inquiries on school closures related to the anti-coronavirus measures:
• 24970967 (24/7 hotline)
• 51575591 (Capital Educational Zone)
• 51576117 (Hawally Educational Zone)
• 51576576 (Farwaniya Educational Zone)
• 51577055 (Jahra Educational Zone)
• 51577655 (Ahmadi Educational Zone)
• 51577951 (Mubarak Al-Kabeer Educational Zone)
• 51578171 (Religious Studies Department)
• 51588599 (Private Education Department)
• 51592515 (Services Department)
• 51594544 (Public Relations Department)
Kuwait’s Ministry of Health (MOH) launched a new medicine delivery service for people in Kuwait, which they can use to order medications to be delivered during curfew hours. The medications will be delivered within 72 hours after the order is submitted. To place an order, patients should send a WhatsApp to the numbers for the hospitals and medical centers as listed below. The patient should include their name, Civil ID number, hospital or clinic file number, mobile phone number and the medicine needed to the following numbers:
• Amiri Hospital: 50880699
• Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital: 50880755
• Farwaniya Hospital: 50880852
• Adan Hospital: 50880908
• Jahra Hospital: 50881066
• Sabah Hospital: 97632660
• Jaber Hospital: 96992079
• Ibn Sina Hospital: 99613948
• Chest Hospital: 99258749
• Razi Hospital: 97633487
• Kuwait Cancer Control Center: 96735242
• Psychiatric Hospital: 97350113
• Physiotherapy Hospital: 99824037
• Maternity Hospital: 98559531
• As’ad Al-Hamad Dermatology Center: 98514508
• Zain Hospital: 97552031
• NBK Hospital: 96931761
• Al-Rashed Allergy Hospital: 94162470
• Infectious Diseases Hospital: 96989164
• Palliative Care Hospital: 94024786
• Sabah Al-Ahmad Urology Center: 90952469
• KFH Addiction Treatment Center: 94169363 Meanwhile, all licensed pharmacies in Kuwait delivering medicine are allowed to continue their services 24 hours a day.The Ministry of Health is also asking doctors and nurses affiliated with the private medical sector to volunteer in order to contribute to the fight against the virus. Volunteering is available through the link: http://volunteering.q8ehealth.com. The ministry had closed all private clinics and medical centers effective March 22, 2020 until further notice.
Mental health assistance
The Kuwait Psychological Association (KPA) is providing consultation through the phone for people suffering from the psychological impacts of coronavirus. Different doctors are working on the hotline in different timings as follows:
Dr Rashed Al-Sahl: on Monday and Wednesday 10:00 am - 1:00 pm. Call 9797-6168.
Dr Fahad Al-Tasha: daily from 8:00 pm - 12:00 am. Call 9904-8258.
Dr Othman Al-Asfour: daily 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Call
Dr Mohammed Al-Khaldi (head of this team): daily 9:00 am - 12:00 pm. Call 9903-6470.
Dr Ahmad Al-Khaldi: daily 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm. Call 9910-7965.
Dr Muneera Al-Qattan: Monday and Wednesday 9:00 am - 1:00 pm. Call 9953-3108.
Dr Zainab Al-Saffar: Sunday and Thursday 7:00 pm 9:00 pm. Call 9954-9908.
Dr Sameera Al-Kandari: Tuesday 9:00 pm - 12:00 am. Call 6770-9434.
Dr Kawthar Al-Yaqout: Monday and Wednesday 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm. Call 5521-0088.
For information and other concerns, call 9401-4283.