KUWAIT: Kuwait Airways Chairman Ali Al-Dukhan tours Kuwait International Airport’s Terminal 4 yesterday. – KUNA

KUWAIT: Kuwait Airways and Jazeera Airways have proposed a plan to local authorities to allow passengers to spend their quarantine period in Kuwait instead of a third country, Kuwait Airways Chairman Ali Al-Dukhan announced yesterday. According to the plan, each airline will carry out necessary health tests on arriving passengers at its respective terminal, including PCR tests. The passenger would then be allowed to enter Kuwait directly and tested again before the end of their quarantine period.

This will allow flights to operate 24 hours a day, which will help boost revenues of aviation companies and relevant state departments, Dukhan said during a tour of Kuwait International Airport’s Terminal 4 yesterday. Currently, passengers from 34 countries are not allowed to enter Kuwait unless they spend a 14-day quarantine period in a third country.

Dukhan said the proposal will ease procedures for travel and implementation of health protocols will be smooth and flexible. It will also allow for the airline to slowly reintroduce destinations it had halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said Kuwait Airways is keen on following cautionary guidelines by having its employees wear masks, implementing social distancing, providing sanitizers and displaying health instructions at the airport and onboard aircraft. Planes are sanitized after each flight, along with buses, equipment and luggage carriers.

Dukhan said Kuwait Airways and the aviation sector in general are going through tough circumstances due to the coronavirus pandemic, which had a major impact on this sector after operations were halted and customers had to be refunded.

Meanwhile, the Shlonik application is one of the most important technological developments Kuwait has introduced, and the health ministry has benefited from it as part of its plan to combat the spread of COVID-19. Around half a million people have benefited from this app, director of the public health department and the head of the main committee of the Shlonik application at the ministry of health, Dr Fahd Al-Ghimlas, told KUNA yesterday.

The application’s aim is to follow up suspected cases of COVID-19 during home quarantine and those who are infected, Ghimlas said. The app was launched in mid-April 2020 with the aim of following up people arriving from abroad during the citizens’ evacuation campaign. Its use was later expanded to include contacts of positive cases and coronavirus patients, he added.

The app allows quarantined people to enter important data and report symptoms as soon as they appear so that medical teams can discover positive cases as quickly as possible and place them under appropriate medical care, Ghimlas said. He called on all people registered in the Shlonik app to follow instructions and respond to notifications sent to them, as well as abide by quarantine procedures to prevent the spread of the virus.

Kuwait’s confirmed coronavirus cases increased by 813 to 118,531 in the past 24 hours, with seven people succumbing to the disease, raising the death toll to 721, the health ministry said yesterday. It said 130 people are currently receiving intensive care out of a total of 7,894 patients hospitalized. Some 7,560 swab tests were conducted in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 849,662 tests. Earlier, the ministry said 718 people recovered from the virus, taking the total number of those who have overcome the disease to 109,916.