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Civil aviation authorities replace fingerprint machines with iris scanners



Civil aviation authorities have stopped using fingerprint machines for identification and have introduced iris scans instead as a precautionary measure against the virus.This has been done in coordination with Ministry of Health for the safety of travellers. The Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI) also temporarily closed their halls dealing with the public and resorted to online applications for all civil ID transactions.-K.T.


Ten new coronavirus cases were registered in Kuwait, taking the total number to 56



Ten coronavirus cases were registered in Kuwait in the past 24 hours, taking the total number to 56, the health ministry said yesterday. Assistant Undersecretary Dr Buthaina Al-Mudhaf told in her briefing that the new cases are patients who were in Iran. All cases are of Kuwaitis, she affirmed, adding that all of them are in a stable condition and recovering.-K.T.


After facemasks hysteria, hand sanitizers have become a new craze



After the facemask hysteria that spread in Kuwait following the announcement of the first coronavirus cases that led to all pharmacies running out of stock due to high demand, hand sanitizers have become a new craze. Awareness campaigns have encouraged people to take increased care of hygiene through systematically washing their hands or using sanitizers, which is easier when on the go. The campaigns also advise people regarding facemasks – that they should be mostly used by sick people or people in contact with sick people – focusing instead on keeping hands clean all the time.

So people got obsessed with cleaning hands and rushed to buy sanitizers, which led to the disappearance of these products from the local market. Inspectors of the ministry of commerce are inspecting various pharmacies to check for any increase in prices of goods, especially those related to the novel coronavirus, including facemasks and sanitizers. Many pharmacies have been shuttered for such violations. Some reopened after a few days, but their case is in court and they will be fined.-K.T.


Kuwait confirms another coronavirus case raising the total number of cases to 46



Although only four new coronavirus cases have been discovered over the past three days, Kuwait yesterday stepped up measures to prevent the spread of the deadly diseases, including a total ban on all types of visas for visitors. The National Assembly cancelled a scheduled emergency meeting yesterday.The public food authority has instructed all restaurants and cafes that all waiters must wear facemasks and gloves and that restaurants must provide sanitizers to clients.The ministry of health said yesterday a new case tested positive in one of the people who returned from Iran and was at the quarantine set up by the ministry, raising the total number of cases to 46, placing Kuwait at the top of Gulf countries in the number of infections.-K.T.


MoI stopped issuing visit permits and work visas for Egyptians



The Ministry of Interior has prohibited entry to Egyptians of all kinds of visiting visas, while stopping work visas until further notice, following information about the presence of cases infected with Corona virus, despite the Egyptian authorities denying this. The computers of the residence affairs departments in the six governorates of Kuwait have become closed to any visits or visas granted to the Egyptians, indicating that any expatriate who has been issued with a visiting visa and is entitled to attend. Wiith regard to the visits that were signed and work was under way to receive them, delivery was stopped. And about whether the Ministry of Interior can prevent entry to those who have residencies who are now in Egypt, the source said, until now, these attendees are entitled to and undergo a careful examination. All possibilities in this regard are presented.Stopping the issuance of work permits or visiting cards for citizens of some countries, including Egypt, Iraq and Iran, would be a temporary measure and in accordance with the preventive measures agreed upon within the instructions of the World Health Organization to prevent the spread of the Corona virus.


Travelers from Kuwait have to undertake to comply with the safety rules



In the light of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) worldwide, passengers leaving Kuwait via airports or land outlets have to undertake to comply with the safety rules set forth by the ministries of health and interior upon their return. The regulations include remaining in a 14-day quarantine if need be pursuant to Act 8 (1969) and cooperation with the competent authorities in order to curb the spread of the virus and protect the public health in Kuwait, the Ministry of Health said in a statement on Thursday. In case of failure to meet the obligations, travelers would be liable to legal measures stipulated in the above-mentioned law, the statement reminded.-K.T.


Two Bangladeshis arrested in citizen’s murder-robbery



Police arrested two Bangladeshis, the suspected killers of a citizen whose burnt body was found in the Rehaya desert, the Interior Ministry’s relations and security information department said. Jahra and Farwaniya detectives carried out investigations, located and followed the suspects, then arrested them. The suspects confessed to killing the victim in a robbery.One of them said he took the body wrapped in a carpet to the Rehaya desert, where he burned it. The suspect had three credit cards and KD 90 belonging to the victim.-K.T.


All Catholic churches will remain closed from 1st-14th March 2020



As per the advisory by the Government and the Ministry of Health as precautionary measures as to avoid any public gatherings for the period of two weeks, starting from the 1st Mar to the 14th Mar 2020, in keeping with these directives, the Catholic church clergy and parish council members after an emergency meeting held on 28 Feb decided all Catholic churches will remain closed from 1st-14th March 2020.There will be no Masses, Retreats, prayer meetings, seminars, Catechism classes or any other services for this period.

The Catholic church in its circular said that they will await for more guidelines and directives from the Kuwait Government and our Church authorities to communicate further information or action.The church advised to follow up our spiritual obligation and practices of faith in their own homes, through the following: Participate in the Holy Mass through the Catholic TV channels, read together as a family the Scripture readings of the day, recite the holy Rosary and Divine Mercy, and Any other spiritual activity.-A.T.


No New Cases of Coronavirus and total number of confirmed cases of COVID19 remains at 45



Kuwait’s Ministry of Health reports no new cases of coronavirus have been detected in the country at a press conference this morning.Total number of confirmed cases of COVID19 remains at 45.

The spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, Dr. Abdullah Al-Sanad, reassured that the 45 people infected with the virus are in stable conditions.He further stated everyone should take ways to prevent and not be present in crowded communities and areas.

Assistant Undersecretary of Public Health Dr. Buthaina Al-Mudhaf said there are no fees for Expats in examination of coronavirus and there is no ban on the exit of any non-Kuwaiti to leave Kuwait, and she explained that no cases infection has been detected who arrived from Italy.If any expat is found to be infected, we will deal according to the examination and same procedures applied to Kuwaiti citizens.


Saudi Arabia temporarily suspends entry for pilgrims, tourists over coronavirus fears



Saudi Arabia on Thursday temporarily suspended visas for pilgrims wishing to visit the holy city of Makkah over coronavirus fears, the foreign ministry said.

The government is "suspending entry to the Kingdom for the purpose of Umrah and visiting the Prophet's Mosque temporarily", the foreign ministry said in a statement, referring to the pilgrimage to the holy city  of Makkah that can be undertaken at any time of year.



Ministry of Commerce raided warehouse and sealed it as 169,000 medical masks confiscated



The inspection teams of the Commercial Control and Consumer Protection Sector of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry raided a warehouse containing 169,000 medical masks, and sealed.The Ministry of commerce monitored the inspection work and large quantity of masks were seized. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has closed 14 new pharmacies who did not comply with the ministerial decision to set the prices of selling medical masks, the total number of pharmacies that are closed for the same reasons have reached to 19 so far.


26 cases of COVID-19 now confirmed in Kuwait



The number of coronavirus infections in Kuwait rose to 26 cases, announced the Ministry of Health on Wednesday.

In a statement to KUNA, the ministry said that the new recorded case is of a Kuwaiti national who recently travelled to Iran. All patients are in a stable condition and are receiving proper medical care, said the ministry.It called on citizens and expats to abide by the issued rules on the matter to protect their health. Classes will be suspended for two weeks at schools and universities throughout Kuwait starting on March first, said a gov’t spokesman Wednesday.


Six Italians arrested for selling fake smartphones



A six-man gang of Italians have been arrested by the police for cheating people and selling them imitation smartphones.

Number of people complained that they had been cheated by an Italian and police investigations revealed the modus operandi was the same.One of the suspects would carefully pick his victims outside wellknown shopping malls and cooperative societies and pretend he is falling short of money for travel and offered to sell an expensive phone for a throw away price.To lure the victim the suspect would even display original purchase invoice and after the buyer fell victim, later discovered he had been cheated.

Police kept a track of the suspects where they were allegedly active in their trade and arrested one of them and later with permission from the Public Prosecution raided their apartment in Salmiya and seized all the six men and also seized from them fake ‘smartphones in original packing’. They have been referred for interrogation.-A.T.


Whoever breaks the medical ban shall be punished by detention and fine



There are many reports that some Kuwaiti citizens returning from Iran do not adhere to the house quarantine until they are sure they are not infected with the new Corona virus, constitutional law expert Dr. Muhammad al-Faili confirmed.Whoever breaks the medical ban, according to Article 17 of the Health Precautions Law to prevent from communicable diseases, shall be punished by detention for a period not exceeding one month and a fine not exceeding 50 dinars, or by either of these two penalties.

He explained that Law 8/1969 on health precautions against communicable diseases allows medical authorities to take measures that restrict the freedom of citizens, and also allows those responsible for confronting cases of infection to enter and sterilize citizens’ homes.He further stated that this is not only something that does not violate the constitution, but it is necessary to confront the dangers whose effects go out to all people on the territory of the state.-A.T.


Kuwait confirms 11th coronavirus infection case



Kuwait’s Ministry of Health announced four more cases tested positive for the novel coronavirus yesterday and two new cases today, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Kuwait to eleven. The six cases were among citizens who were in quarantine after returning from Iran. The condition of all patients is stable and they are currently recovering at a Ministry of Health hospital that was prepared to handle cases infected with COVID-19, the ministry said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Touristic Enterprises Company announced that the Khairan Resort will be evacuated starting tomorrow (Wednesday) to be turned into a quarantine site for people suspected to be infected with the novel coronavirus. This came upon a Ministry of Finance request to use the location for quarantine. All prior reservations will be canceled and money refunded, TEC said.-K.T.


6 arrested in campaign against the street vendors



Kuwait Municipality launched a campaign against the street vendors in the capital lead by Zaid Al-Enezi. In this campaign 6 street vendors were arrested along with their goods.The team is working to complete legal procedures against them.He further stated that campaign will continue as this campaign was in line to decision made by cabinet to stop celebrations.Al Enezi said that it is important to avoid gatherings and the team will monitor licensed and other exhibitons to prevent them.-A.T.


Coronaviruses-COVID-19--All you should know



In early 2020, a new kind of virus began generating headlines all over the world because of the unprecedented speed of its transmission. From its origins in a food market in Wuhan, China in December 2019 to countries as far-flung as the United States and the Philippines, the virus (officially named COVID-19) has infected tens of thousands, with a rising death toll now over 2,500.

What are the symptoms?
Doctors are learning new things about this virus every day. So far we know that COVID-19 may not initially cause any symptoms. You may carry the virus for 2 days or up to 2 weeks before you notice symptoms. Some common symptoms that have been specifically linked to the 2019 coronavirus include:

  • feeling short of breath
  • having a cough that gets more severe over time
  • a low-grade fever that gradually increases in temperature

When to seek help
If you experience any of the symptoms above and have traveled to China or been exposed to someone in a country where COVID-19 has been detected in the past 14 days, or have been in close contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19 within the last 14 days, call your doctor right away.

What causes coronaviruses?
Coronaviruses are zoonotic. This means they first develop in animals before developing in humans. For the virus to pass from animal to humans, a person has to come into close contact with an animal that carries the infection. Once the virus develops in people, coronaviruses can be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets. This is a technical name for the wet stuff that moves through the air when you cough or sneeze.

The viral material hangs out in these droplets and can be breathed into the respiratory tract (your windpipe and lungs), where the virus can then lead to an infection. The 2019 coronavirus hasn’t been definitively linked to a specific animal. But researchers believe that the virus may have been passed from bats to another animal – either snakes or pangolins – and then transmitted to humans. This transmission likely occurred in the open food market in Wuhan, China.

Who’s at increased risk?
You’re at a high risk for developing this virus if you come into contact with someone who’s carrying it, especially if you’ve been exposed to their saliva or been near them when they’ve coughed or sneezed. Washing your hands and disinfecting surfaces can help decrease your risk for catching this or other viruses.

Older men seem to be especially susceptible to the virus. A report by the World Health Organization (WHO) found that the median age of people testing positive for this coronavirus was around 45 years, and that over two-thirds of those people were male.

What treatments are available?
There’s currently no treatment specifically approved for the 2019 coronavirus, and no cure for an infection, although treatments and vaccines are currently under study. Instead, treatment focuses on managing symptoms as the virus runs its course.

Seek immediate medical help if you think you have COVID-19. Your doctor will recommend treatment for any symptoms or complications that develop. Other coronaviruses like SARS and MERS do have vaccines and treatments. Some treatments for these similar viruses include:
antiviral or retroviral medications
breathing support like mechanical ventilation
steroids to reduce lung swelling
blood plasma transfusions

How to prevent coronaviruses
The best way to prevent the spread of this virus is to avoid or limit contact with people who are showing symptoms of the virus and have traveled to infected countries in the past 14 days. The next best thing you can do is practice good hygiene to prevent bacteria and viruses from spreading. Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds at a time with warm water and soap.

Don’t touch your face, eyes, nose, or mouth when your hands are dirty.
Don’t go out if you’re feeling sick or have any cold or flu symptoms.
Cover your mouth with the inside of your elbow whenever you sneeze or cough. Throw away any tissues you use to blow your nose or sneeze right away.
Keep any objects you touch a lot clean. Use disinfectants on objects like phones, computers, utensils, dishware, and door handles.

Other types of coronaviruses
A coronavirus gets its name from the way it looks under a microscope.
The word corona means “crown,” and when examined closely, the round virus has a “crown” of proteins called peplomers jutting out from its center in every direction. These proteins help the virus identify whether it can infect its host. The condition known as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was also linked to a highly infectious coronavirus back in the early 2000s. The SARS virus has since been contained and found to be successfully treatable.

This isn’t the first time a coronavirus has made news – the deadly 2003 SARS outbreak was also caused by a coronavirus. As with the 2019 virus, the SARS virus was first found in animals before it spread to humans. The SARS virus is thought to have come from bats and then was transferred to another animal, and then to humans. Once transmitted to humans, the SARS virus began spreading quickly among people. What makes COVID-19 so newsworthy is that a treatment or cure hasn’t yet been developed to help prevent its rapid spread from person to person. SARS has been successfully contained and treated.

What’s the outlook?
First and foremost, don’t panic. You don’t need to wear a mask or be quarantined unless you’ve been diagnosed with this coronavirus. Following simple hygiene guidelines may help prevent you from developing this and other viruses. The 2019 coronavirus probably seems scary when you read the news about new deaths, quarantines, and travel bans.

But in context, the coronavirus is much less severe and widespread than more common and more threatening infectious conditions, like the flu. Stay calm and follow your doctor’s instructions if you’re diagnosed with a coronavirus infection so that you can recover and help prevent it from spreading.-K.T.


All flights to and from South Korea, Thailand and Italy cancelled due to COVID-19 outbreak



The Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Monday suspended all flights to and from South Korea, Thailand and Italy due to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

In a press statement, the DGCA said the decision was taken upon a recommendation from the Ministry of Health following the confirmation of several COVID-19 infections in the three countries.It stated that all expats who visited these countries over the past two weeks will not be allowed to enter the country, even if they have valid visas, meanwhile Kuwaitis will be put in quarantine at special health facilities.

It added that no entry visas will be issued for those coming from the three countries.Earlier, the DGCA has also suspended all flights to and from Iraq. -KUNA


Kuwait cancelled all celebrations of the National and Liberation Days



The Kuwaiti Cabinet ordered the cancelation of all celebrations of the National and Liberation Days today and tomorrow, when thousands of Kuwaitis and expats normally take to the Gulf Road every year. Ministries, companies and even The Avenues mall all cancelled their planned celebrations on the occasion of the national and liberation days. The government is contemplating to suspend school next week as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the virus. Schools are off for three days, starting today, on the occasion of the national holidays.Kuwait Oil Company cancelled its celebration of the national holidays while many others are expected to follow suit. Kuwait Football Federation said it had cancelled an Asian club game between a Saudi and Iranian clubs that was due to be played in Kuwait because of a sports ban on Iranian teams.

Thousands of Shiites from Kuwait and other Gulf states travel to Iran regularly to visit holy shrines. The coronavirus cases could increase as hundreds of Kuwaitis who were brought back to the country aboard special flights from Iran are still quarantined inside a five-star hotel in Mangaf. Police with masks stood guard outside the Al-Kout Hotel, and no one from outside was allowed to come close. The people will remain in isolation for 14 days to make sure that no one is infected with COVID-19, as more Kuwaitis are expected to be repatriated from Iran, including 140 students of religious studies in the holy city of Qom and their family members.-K.T.




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