KUWAIT: Kuwait Municipality workers stand outside shops that are closing on 8:00 pm on Monday in compliance with the government’s measures to help limit the spread of COVID-19. – Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: The interior ministry said yesterday it will deploy security teams to assist authorities to implement decisions by the cabinet to close commercial activities to counter the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The ministries of commerce and municipality will monitor the implementation of the closures of commercial shops and malls from 8:00 pm to 5:00 am and the total shutdown of health clubs, saloons and barber shops.

The interior ministry said in a statement that each governorate has allocated security teams to provide any assistance needed to the two ministries as they oversee the implementation of the new health measures. The statement also said that security men will ban all types of gatherings prohibited by the cabinet decisions.

MPs and representatives of small and medium businesses have strongly opposed the new measures and demanded that the government must either compensate them or allow them to operate. The government is expected to take decisions on this issue soon. The health ministry yesterday reported 1,002 new coronavirus cases, the largest in several weeks, with six deaths. The ministry said 96 patients are being treated at intensive care unit and the number of active cases rose to 9,310.

New measures
In the meantime, MP Hisham Al-Saleh yesterday sent a series of questions to the minister of health about the new measures, vaccines and the vaccination drive in the country. Saleh asked the minister to provide him with the scientific basis he used to order the closure of saloons, barber shops and health clubs and demanded figures of coronavirus cases detected by the ministry in the past six months and related to the operation of these activities.

He asked the minister about the sources of coronavirus tests carried daily and if the cases were for travelers or at hospitals. He also demanded the number of vaccines Kuwait has contracted from each company, the dates of arrival and the number of vaccines that had already arrived. Saleh also asked about the number of people who registered for vaccinations and the number of who had already been vaccinated, including the number of citizens and expats. The lawmaker asked the minister about how many fake PCR tests had been discovered.

The government communication center meanwhile raised the alarm yesterday after a big increase in the number of cases. It said that in the first nine days of February, 7,739 cases have been reported compared to just 7,949 cases in the month of December and 14,673 cases in January. MP Bader Al-Humaidi asked the government about the number of flights that arrived from Turkey and Dubai since February 3 and the number of expat passengers and their jobs.