Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 1 October 2020


Coronavirus: Kuwait reports first death

There are currently no details about the first victim in the Gulf state

A view of empty streets, in Kuwait City, Kuwait, 29 March 2020. EPA
A view of empty streets, in Kuwait City, Kuwait, 29 March 2020. EPA

Kuwait recorded on Saturday its first death from the coronavirus outbreak, state news agency Kuna reported, citing a health ministry spokesman.

The Gulf state had reported 417 official cases of coronavirus as of Friday, but 62 more were confirmed in the last 24 hours, bringing the total 479.

Health Minister Basil Al Sabah said 11 more people had recovered from the virus, bringing the country's total to 93.

Mr Al Sabah was quoted on Tuesday as saying a clearer picture would emerge by early June on the success of containment efforts. Kuwait was the first Gulf state to halt passenger flights and impose a partial curfew.

"If infection numbers stabilise, there may be a gradual easing of current measures," he told Al Rai newspaper. "But if the average rate of transmission increases then ... I do not rule out the cabinet enforcing a full curfew."

On March 13, Kuwait stopped all travel except cargo flights from the country until further notice.

A public holiday declared from March 12 to March 26, except for entities providing essential services, has been extended by another two weeks.

People are banned from going to restaurants and cafes and have been asked to no longer hold the traditional diwaniya private and public gatherings, state news agency Kuna said.

The Cabinet has suspended classes at all public and private schools as well as higher education institutions until August 4.

Kuwait has also initiated legal proceedings against people spreading fake news and rumours in relation to coronavirus, the country’s minister of interior said on March 18.

The ministry had warned the population against sharing rumours, saying it would track the culprits and hold them accountable.

On March 28, Kuwait repatriated citizens from London on a specially-chartered flight.

The country is also holding daily press briefings televised but national and regional outlets at 11am Sunday-Thursday.

Updated: April 4, 2020 03:32 PM

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