KUWAIT: People wait in line to be vaccinated at Kuwait Vaccination Center in this file photo. – Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: Health workers have administered more than two million COVID-19 vaccine doses to people in Kuwait, according to covidvax.live. This comes as Kuwait has lodged 16 deaths and more than 2,500 new cases in two days while the country has moved into easing COVID-19 restrictions.

Kuwait’s Ministry of Health on Friday reported eight COVID-19 deaths and 1,345 infections in the previous 24 hours, one day after it reported eight deaths and 1,168 cases. The figures took the country’s death toll to 1,719 and the caseload to 297,206 as of Friday. Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 patients receiving medical care reached 12,574, including 171 in ICUs as of Friday. Total recoveries reached 282,913 after the ministry reported 993 and 980 recoveries on Friday and Thursday respectively.

The Cabinet had ended the partial curfew, imposed a few months ago to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, from the first day of Eid Al-Fitr on March 13, as government spokesman Tareq Al-Mazrem said the country was heading for reopening various sectors on gradual basis. The government also allowed dining inside restaurants and cafes from 5:00 am to 8:00 pm starting today. Cinemas and theatres were reopened only for people who have been vaccinated provided customers strictly observe all health conditions like wearing face masks and observing social distancing.

Mazrem also said that the ban on the entry of all expatriates into Kuwait will continue indefinitely, and any exemptions must be made by the coronavirus high committee. The Cabinet also decided to halt all commercial flights, except cargo service, with Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka due to the widespread of the coronavirus pandemic in those countries. Travelers from the four countries are banned from arriving into Kuwait directly and must spend at least 14 days in a third country, he said.

The Cabinet also decided to increase the percentage of employees in public and private offices to a maximum of 60 percent starting from May 17. Mazrem said authorities hope to move gradually into further easing steps as the health conditions in the country stabilize and more people are vaccinated. All public and private celebrations including weddings and gatherings at Diwaniyas will continue to be banned, Mazrem said.