COVID-19: Kuwait government mulls over return of partial curfew as cases rise

Kuwait City: As Kuwait witnesses an increase in COVID-19 cases, the government is set to review a series of new restrictions, one of which is the possible return of a partial curfew, by the end of the week.

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The alarm has been sounded as hospital beds are filling up and the occupancy rate that the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is at 15 per cent, an increase form last week’s where it was at 9 per cent.

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A government source told Al Qabas that if the health situation is not contained before the Holy month of Ramadan, which is in two months, the government may take strict measures that include the ban on praying in mosques.

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New measures

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On Wednesday, during a televised news conference, the government spokesman, Tareq Al Mezrem, announced several new measures put in place by the government to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

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In regards to travel, Al Mezrem announced that non-Kuwaitis will be barred from entering Kuwait for two weeks as of Sunday. Those excluded from the decision are first degree relatives and domestic workers.

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Al Mezrem also revealed that starting on February 21 a mandatory seven-day hotel quarantine will be imposed on all passengers, citizens and non-Kuwaitis, entering Kuwait. Each person will be required to pay the quarantine fees out of their own pocket. Once the seven days are over, then passengers will be required to quarantine an additional seven days at home. The decision will be in effect for one month, with a possibility of extension.

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The decision included that starting Sunday all gyms, wellness centers and saloons are ordered to be shut for the duration of one month. Following the announcement, on Saturday, saloon, gym and restaurant owners held a demonstration at protest the decision and call on the government to reverse it.

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One month

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Restaurants, malls and commercial shops are also hit by the new measures as they are required to close between the hours of 8pm to 5am. Food delivery services are exempt from the decision and will be able to continue regular activity.

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The decision will also go into effect on Sunday and will last for one month, with possible extension.

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The new measures also include a total ban on any National Day celebrations as February is usually a festive month given that Kuwait’s national day is on February 24 and liberation day is the day after.

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