KUWAIT: Kuwait said 862 people tested positive for coronavirus with five related deaths reported yesterday, taking the total cases and deaths to 183,322 and 1,039 respectively. The health ministry had reported 976 new infections and seven deaths on Friday. Meanwhile, total recoveries rose to 171,260 as the ministry announced 934 new recoveries yesterday and 920 on Friday.

The number of people hospitalized with the virus stood yesterday at 11,023, with 146 of them in intensive care units (ICU), according to ministry spokesman Dr Abdullah Al-Sanad. This is down from 11,100 hospitalized patients and 148 ICU patients announced on Friday.

Dr Sanad added yesterday that health workers conducted 7,601 swab tests over the past 24 hours, while the number of swabs announced Friday was 10,016, bringing the total to 1,725,698. He renewed the call to the public to continue observing social distancing. Furthermore, he recommended visiting the ministry and official bodies’ accounts on social media to get acquainted with recommendations and guidelines regarding the virus.

The slight drop in infected cases and patients in hospital comes as a slight relief as authorities mull all scenarios to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus since the recent spike. The government had Thursday quashed rumors that a decision to impose a lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. “No decision has been issued to impose a partial or total lockdown.

However, all options to face the consequences of the COVID-19 are on the table of the health authorities,” government spokesman Tareq Al-Mazrem said on his Twitter account. He called on all to comply with health measures and to stay away from rumors. The government had shut down salons, barbershops, gyms and massage parlors for a month starting from February 7, and ordered commercial shops, restaurants, cafes and malls to close at 8:00 pm.

Meanwhile, the airport prepares today to welcome flights under strict regulations, which includes a mandatory quarantine in a local hotel for 14 days for arrivals from high-risk countries through direct flights, and seven days in a hotel for arrivals from non-high-risk countries, followed by a seven-day home quarantine period. Travelers must register in the ‘Kuwait Mosafer’ platform, and those who fail to do so will not be allowed to board the plane, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation warned.