Kuwait News

 

 

3 million to get vaccinated

KUWAIT CITY, May 16: Kuwait will achieve community immunity in September as three million people are expected to be vaccinated by then and the country continues its vaccination campaign to achieve this goal with the number of vaccinated people reaching two million in the next few weeks, reports Al-Rai daily quoting reliable sources.
 

Reaching the three million target will ensure community immunity as it will pave way for return to normal life, considering 65 to 70 percent of the population will be vaccinated before the next school year begins in September, sources said.

 

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Sources highlighted the importance of vaccinating workers in central shopping malls in preparation for  gradual return to normal life; while affirming the completion of the second phase of the field vaccination campaign during which more than 30,000 people were vaccinated in 13 commercial complexes. So far, the number of people vaccinated through the mobile units exceeded 60,000 people working in several establishments such as cooperatives, mosques, banking sector, food manufacturers and cinemas, sources disclosed.

Spotlighting the breakthrough in the current coronavirus curve, sources voiced optimism over the indicators of the epidemiological situation; particularly this week’s decline in the number of new corona cases to less than a thousand – the first time since the end of February.

Sources are hoping for the immediate completion of the vaccination of employees in restaurants and food supply companies registered on the COVID-19 vaccination website during the Eid Al-Fitr holidays in preparation for the safe and complete opening of these establishments after the holidays.

Restaurant owners are being encouraged to quickly register their workers’ details on the vaccination  site and they should choose essential workers in restaurants and catering establishments in the job category to ensure all employees in these businesses are vaccinated, sources added.

Source: Arab Times

KUWAIT CITY: The Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) has approved a mechanism for expats who are over 60 years old to register their approved academic certificates to help them renew their work permits online in accordance with the legal procedures and regulations that allow for their renewal, reports Al-Qabas daily.

If the employee holds a diploma or university degree and has not previously registered his/her certificates with the labor departments, he/she can do so through the automatic certification approval system, the daily quoting informed sources.

The sources added that it is necessary for the certificates to be approved by the Kuwait Ministry of Foreign Affairs, complete with all other required signatures, and with the details clearly filled on the forms of the automated system.

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah meets His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. – Amiri Diwan and KUNA photo

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah yesterday received a cable of congratulations from His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on the advent of Eid Al-Fitr. His Highness the Amir also received congratulations cables on the dear occasion from the National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem, Kuwait National Guard Chief His Highness Sheikh Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah, His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah, and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah.

Furthermore, His Highness the Amir received similar cables from the President of the Supreme Judicial Council Counselor Ahmad Al-Ajeel and Kuwait National Guard Deputy Chief retired General Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. In turn, His Highness the Amir thanked them for their kind sentiments.

Meanwhile, His Highness the Crown Prince received a cable of congratulations from Speaker Ghanem on the advent of Eid Al-Fitr. His Highness the Crown Prince sent a reply cable to Ghanem, thanking him for his sincere sentiments. His Highness the Crown Prince also exchanged greeting cables with His Highness Sheikh Salem Al-Ali, Sheikh Mubarak Al-Abdullah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Justice Ahmad Al-Ajeel, senior state officials, sheikhs, ministers, members of the diplomatic corps, in addition to citizens and residents.

His Highness the Amir also exchanged congratulations cables yesterday with Arab and Islamic countries leaders on the advent of Eid Al-Fitr. In the cables, His Highness the Amir wished many happy returns of the dear occasion for both Arab and Islamic nations. Furthermore, His Highness the Amir received a phone call from Tunisian President Kais Saied, on the near advent of Eid Al-Fitr. His Highness the Amir thanked the President for his sincere sentiments, expressed wishes of welfare and prosperity for the Tunisian people and leadership.

On Tuesday, His Highness the Amir phoned King Abdullah II of Jordan on the advent of Eid Al-Fitr. During the telephone call, His Highness the Amir expressed sincere congratulations to the Jordanian King on the advent of Eid al-Fitr, praying to Allah the Almighty that this occasion will be repeated with further blessings and goodness on the two countries, and Arab and Muslim nations.

His Highness the Amir wished the King good health and Jordan further saftey, security and progress. Meanwhile, King Abdullah thanked His Highness the Amir for this call which embodies the deep-rooted relations between the two countries. The King also congratulated His Highness the Amir on the same occasion, wishing him everlasting good health and Kuwait more progress and prosperity under his wise leadership.

Similarly, His Highness the Amir on Tuesday congratulated, via phone, Egyptian President Abdelfattah Al-Sisi on the advent of Eid Al-Fitr. In his call, His Highness the Amir wished many happy returns of the dear occasion for both Arab nations. He also wished President Al-Sisi everlasting wellbeing and for the Egypt greater security and stability. President Sisi thanked His Highness the Amir for the good gesture which mirrors the depth of relations between the two nations. He wished His Highness the Amir everlasting wellbeing and for Kuwait more progress and welfare under his wise leadership. – KUNA

‘Ban on direct flights to Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh countries stays’

KUWAIT CITY, May 12: Director of the Air Transport Department at the General Directorate of Civil Aviation Abdullah Al-Rajhi announced the issuance of a decision to increase the operating capacity of arrival flights from 1,000 to 5,000 passengers per day starting from May 22, reports Al-Qabas daily. In an exclusive statement to the daily, Al- Rajhi disclosed the Supreme Committee for Corona Emergencies took this step for the airlines operating at Kuwait International Airport to increase their commercial operations during the summer season; affirming that the daily arrivals rate will increase to 80 percent compared to the previous decision on limiting the number of arriving passengers to 1,000 per day.

He said the department sent a letter to the airlines operating at the airport, asking them to specify their desired operational rate in the coming period to set the flight schedules and determine the number of daily flights starting from May 22. Asked about the expected number of daily flights after the decision to increase the operational capacity for arriving passengers; Al-Rahji revealed the number of daily flights depends on the airlines operating at the airport, as the decision states that the maximum number of arrivals should not exceed 5,000 passengers per day.

He expects the department to receive the requests of companies regarding the new travel destinations next week for inclusion in the operational schedules before May 22. He said the increase in flights will be applicable to the available travel stations with the possibility of opening other destinations like Bosnia and Bodrum in Turkey. He added the circulars regarding travel regulations — arrivals and departures — remain in effect as there have been no changes; indicating the airport currently caters only to arriving Kuwaitis, their first-degree relatives and domestic workers accompanying them. He went on to say that the list of countries from which passengers are banned from entering Kuwait has not changed.

source: Arab times

 

Following is a summary of procedures taken:
1. Addressing the airlines operating at Kuwait International Airport to specify their desired operational rates,
2. Scheduling flights starting from May 22,
3. The decision to increase the number of flights is applicable to the available travel stations with the possibility of opening other destinations.

Al-Rajhi also confirmed the cancellation of all flights to and from Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in line with the Cabinet’s decision in this regard; while the air cargo flights continue as per schedule. He added the expatriates who want to travel to these countries can go through the transit destinations, as there will be no direct flights with these countries until further notice.

KUWAIT CITY, May 12: The decision to ban the entry of expatriates to the country remains in effect, as the Council of Ministers did not mention lifting the ban in its recent decisions, reports Al-Rai daily quoting reliable sources. According to the council, only citizens and their first-degree relatives who traveled abroad are permitted to enter the country; while the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said Kuwait International Airport is currently operating at only 10 percent of its capacity, sources disclosed. Sources added expatriates and Kuwaitis are permitted to depart from Kuwait International Airport, but they are obligated to register on the travel platform ‘Kuwait Mosafer’ and citizens must be vaccinated.

 

‘Gearing for return to normal life’

KUWAIT CITY, May 12: With increasing indications of the gradual return to normal life and the reopening of airports, the Ministry of Health is studying a number of options and solutions necessary to deal with these developments, reports Al-Qabas daily. According to reliable health sources, the ministry received an offer some time ago for the supply of medical devices that can produce COVID-19 test results within 20 to 30 seconds after conducting swab tests on those coming into the country. This test is carried out using an innovative, easy-to-use device that requires only one trained person to operate it. Each device can carry out hundreds of tests per day and achieve accurate results of up to 98 percent. It is among the proposed solutions for Gulf health systems especially with the upcoming reopening of the airports in some Arabian Gulf states.
 

All these solutions and procedures are subject to the condition of improving the general epidemiological indicators of COVID-19 in Kuwait and other countries that may witness positive developments in terms of decline in the infection rates. They are aimed to ensure that no new infections or strains enter or infiltrate the borders through travelers, in addition to an emphasis on the availability of a vaccination certificate for global vaccines, or recent PCR test certificates obtained from overseas laboratories that are accredited by Kuwait’s Ministry of Health. The sources affirmed that the ministry is currently studying the file of these modern devices, which, if supplied, will save tens of millions of dinars, in the event that their registration and approval are obtained during the next stage.

 

They explained that the file will be studied from all aspects especially with regard to reducing pressure on the health system and the workers at the airport and border checkpoints, as well as allocating huge budgets for carrying out PCR and even antibody tests, and reducing the expenditures on medical supplies in light of the continuing repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic for an unknown period. The ministry is studying the extent of the safety and reliability of these devices, taking into consideration the fact that they were approved by the British health authorities in March after they were field-tested in more than one sector there.

KUWAIT: An archive picture showing a general view of Kuwait City. – Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

By Nawara Fattahova

KUWAIT: The price of real estate in residential areas in Kuwait is still high and even increased compared to last year, despite the pandemic that negatively affected the economy. But economist Hajaj Bukhadour expects property prices in residential areas will drop this year.

According to him, there are various factors affecting the real estate prices. “The price of real estate in Kuwait is not regulated by the rules of the market. Besides supply and demand, there are other reasons for real estate performance, including monopoly of land and real estate by businessmen, population growth and others,” Bukhadour told Kuwait Times.

Kuwait’s economy is based on two activities – real estate and stocks. “Since 2008 (the global financial crisis), local banks do not accept guarantees of stocks for loans, which was common before 2008, as stocks were considered as assets. Banks now only accept real estate as guarantees for loans. But real estate is mostly mortgaged and there is no supply, which affected prices and led to a hike,” he explained.

“Although there is a recession and a housing crisis, some areas are controlled by brokers and a number of businessmen. This phenomenon should be eliminated after the issuance of the new housing law, which restricts trade in governmental houses. So an owner who receives his house from the government can only sell this house to another citizen who is waiting for his turn to get his house,” concluded Bukhadour.

Increased liquidity
According to economist Homoud Al-Anezi, increased liquidity is behind the high prices of real estate in Kuwait. “The government is not regulating this matter. Annual real estate trade in Kuwait is around KD 4 billion, but this sum is not included in the GDP and does not provide jobs. Sales in residential areas should be regulated, but there are no legal rules for that,” he said.

“Kuwait is the only country where property prices didn’t drop. Around the world, the average price of a house is around 20 times the annual income of a citizen. But in Kuwait, the figure is much higher. In the past, around 3,000 applications for a government house were withdrawn, while today nobody is withdrawing their application, which indicates that people don’t have resources to buy their own house,” stressed Anezi.

Anezi called for a change in housing policy. “Rules should be set that those who receive a house from the government will not be allowed to sell it for at least 30 years. Also in the past, other institutions were providing houses such as oil companies and the ministry of defense, which relieved the pressure on the housing authority. If this is still applied, it will positively affect the prices of real estate,” he added.

Source: Kuwait Times

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