KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Ministry of Health said yesterday 675 people tested positive for the novel coronavirus, while two people died of COVID-19 infection in the past 24 hours. Ministry spokesman Dr Abdullah Al-Sanad said that total registered infections reached 78,145, while the tally of fatalities topped 507. Dr Sanad said 188 of the new cases were registered in Al-Ahmadi medical zone, 148 in Farwaniya, 115 in Jahra, 114 in the Capital, and 110 in Hawally.

The ministry had announced earlier the recovery of 528 people, raising the total number of recovered COVID-19 patients in Kuwait to 69,771. Dr Sanad said that there were 7,867 COVID-19 patients still receiving medical care as of yesterday, including 96 patients in intensive care units, which is down from 101 the previous day. Healthcare workers conducted 4,811 swab tests in the past 24 hours, said Dr Sanad, raising total tests since the outbreak of the pandemic in Kuwait to 573,251. Dr Sanad urged the public to maintain social distancing and hygienic measures, as well as getting information from official sources.

Chronic diseases
Meanwhile, Deputy Chairman of the Regional Coalition for Chronic Diseases, Dr Khaled Al-Saleh, said yesterday that the effects of the novel coronavirus were greater on patients with chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular, diabetes, nervous system sickness and mental health disorders. Dr Saleh, also head of Kuwait Society for Smoking and Cancer Control, said in a press statement the Regional Coalition for Chronic Non-communicable Diseases held a workshop on ‘mental health of chronic disease patients’ in the State of Kuwait in cooperation with the Kuwait Society for Smoking and Cancer Control and the Kuwaiti Oncology Association.

Dr Saleh explained that the workshop is part of a series of workshops that the coalition organized during this year in a number of countries, such as Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, pointing out that a group of experts from the World Health Organization and civil society organizations participated in it. He pointed out the workshop was important because it was held amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and the consequent preventive measures that directly affected people from the psychological and health point of view, which their impact was greater on those with chronic diseases.

Psychological support
Participants in the workshop discussed regional challenges in providing psychological support to patients with chronic diseases during this pandemic, he added. It shed light on the challenges of diet and physical activity during the pandemic, according to the World Health Organization’s guide, which are considered risk factors. They also discussed the role of civil society organizations in involving patients living with chronic non-communicable diseases in care plans, media, and social media, as well as providing support and assistance.

Dr Saleh appreciated the role played by the Regional Coalition for Chronic Diseases of the International Alliance for Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases and their continuous work to continue to hold such activities that benefit a large group of patients who need more care and support to cope better with their diseases. The workshop was moderated by the President of the Regional Alliance for Chronic Diseases Dr Ibtihal Fadhel, and Vice President of the Alliance Dr Saleh. – KUNA