Dr Ghanim Al-Hujailan

KUWAIT: Internal medicine and infectious diseases specialist at the Ministry of Health and Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) fellow Dr Ghanim Al-Hujailan lauded the efforts of the health ministry to fight COVID-19, affirming that ministry officials do not spare any effort to prevent the virus from spreading.

He added the country is in urgent need of quick and accurate PCR tests that are able to detect the major COVID variants – British, African, Brazilian and Indian – that are more dangerous. He said such tests are available in global markets including in Saudi Arabia and Oman. This is in response by health officials to provide the minimum of health services to limit the spread of new variants that are highly infectious and deadly.

Dr Hujailan hoped the health ministry will follow suit by boosting the required supplies and enhancing the level of approved tests based on speed, accuracy and efficiency, and not for being the cheapest, in order to prevent any danger the health system in the country may face, especially after the opening of borders.

Hujailan expressed worries about the increase in daily infections with coronavirus variants in neighboring countries, as the number of cases doubled during the month of May from 1,063 to 3,000 daily, adding the percentage of cases of the variants varies between 40 to 50 percent of existing cases in Kuwait.

He said the policy of extending the period of the second dose of vaccination against the virus is one of the most important reasons behind the increase of the number of cases, and despite clinical studies that indicated that the acquired immunity after taking the second dose of the Oxford vaccine after three months is marginally better, all experts agree that the longer the period, the more opportunities for the virus to spread and mutate into new variants.

Dr Hujailan called for adopting new health protocols through boosting the financial capabilities of the health sector by presenting high quality test materials to ensure good performance and accurate results. He said the lack of finances should not be an excuse to use cheap and bad coronavirus test materials at the expense of the health of citizens and expats.