KUWAIT: People queue as they wait their turn to receive a dose of a vaccine against the coronavirus, in front of the makeshift Kuwait Vaccination Center at the Kuwait International Fairground in Mishref yesterday. – Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: The number of people in Kuwait who have received their COVID-19 vaccines has reached around 822,000, or nearly 20 percent of the population, Al-Jarida Arabic daily reported yesterday. Health authorities have sped up the vaccination campaign during Ramadan with hope of reaching one million vaccinated people soon. Kuwait races to curb an increase in daily infections that prompted authorities to impose a partial curfew since March 7, and which could be extended if the numbers of infections and patients in ICUs remain high.

Head of the higher COVID-19 committee Dr Khaled Al-Jarallah had stated on Saturday that expatriates and people who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 have the highest numbers among hospitalized and ICU patients in Kuwait, adding that the number of positive results from field swab tests have dropped except in investment residential areas and among expats.

These data could indicate that the ministry’s drive towards encouraging citizens to vaccinate has started to bear fruit in terms of limiting hospitalization cases among Kuwaiti nationals. Local health authorities do not make figures related to vaccinations available to the public.

The Ministry of Health had announced Saturday that Kuwait registered four new COVID-19 fatalities and 1,388 new infections in the previous 24 hours. The Ministry’s spokesman Dr Abdullah Al-Sanad said that the death toll increased to 1,440 and total infections jumped to 255,860 as of Saturday. He added that 1,360 patients have recovered from the virus in the same period to reach 239,027 recoveries, which make the ratio of recoveries 93.42 percent from total conducted tests.

The spokesman pointed out that the number of patients in intensive care units stood at 250, while there were 15,393 patients receiving health care as of Saturday. Moreover, Dr Sanad revealed that 8,577 tests were conducted over the same period which make the ratio of infections at 16.18 percent, adding that the total conducted tests reached 2,213,624 as of Saturday

The numbers are a slight drop from the daily figures announced the two days before. Kuwait had announced eight deaths and 1,406 new on Friday, in addition to five deaths and 1,391 cases on Thursday. On the other hand, ICU patients have increased for the third straight day after their numbers went slightly up from 244 on Thursday to 247 on Friday.

Meanwhile, the infections-to-swab ratio went back up on Saturday after it had reached 15.18 percent on Friday, down from 16.12 percent the previous day. Dr Sanad called on the public to maintain social distancing, and to abide with all health regulations that would help in stopping the virus spread.