The National Assembly.

KUWAIT: The National Assembly holds an extraordinary session today to discuss a set of emergency draft laws aimed at curbing spread of coronavirus in specific and toughen penalties against anyone violating communicable disease laws. Parliamentarians will discuss a bill and two proposals to amend a law regarding preventive measures over communicable diseases.

The government, in its meeting last Monday, approved a bill to amend article 17 of Law No 8 (1969) with the aim of toughening penalties to up to three months in prison or up to a KD 5,000 fine, against anyone who violated medical and preventive requirements of communicable diseases. They also approved amendments of article 15 of the same law to increase fines and prison sentence against anyone violating pandemic-related measures.

The government also introduced a new penalty against any person who knows he is infected with a communicable disease and deliberately transmits the disease to others. This person will be sent to prison for up to five years or fined between KD 10,000-50,000.

National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem said the session would exclusively discuss draft emergency legislations to scale up the combat against the novel coronavirus. “The majority of the other agenda topics of the session will be deferred to dates to be agreed by the MPs and the Assembly’s Secretariat,” he told reporters at the Assembly.” In preparation for today’s session, the Assembly has enforced all safety precautions outlined by the Ministry of Health; these include bringing down the attendance of the Secretariat staff to the minimum and cutting short the time of the session,” Ghanem disclosed.

Medics of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health conducted on Sunday swap tests for members of the National Assembly and staff of the parliament secretariat general at the parliament headquarters. The medical team tested the legislators ahead of the session. Minister of Health Sheikh Dr Basel Al-Sabah was present at the parliament hall when the medical team took saliva samples for the tests. – KUNA