The hopes of millions of people around the world seem to be diminishing especially with the new wave of COVID-19, which will definitely delay the global recovery from this pandemic that ravaged the world for almost a year.
Locally, the situation is not promising either, as the health authority yesterday recorded 811 new COVID infections, constituting 8.9 percent of the swab tests carried out. This development could spark the specter of closure of the country in a bid to contain the spread. According to reliable sources, the scenario of “imposing a partial lockdown and isolating some residential areas, as well as closing the international airport for commercial flights for a period of three weeks starting from Sunday” is on the table, pending a decision.
They affirmed that the discovery of new COVID-19 cases being recorded on board transit flights has pushed for compulsory tests of all passengers coming from Britain, India and Egypt to ensure they test negative of COVID- 19 infection. The sources indicated that some officials of the Ministry of Health have started worrying about the high rate of positive COVID swab test results, which may force them to take new strict measures, as many countries have done, before it is too late. They revealed that there are cases of passengers producing fake PCR test certificates when they arrive from various countries.
The sources said the latest health developments make it impossible for school and university students to return to regular studies in the second term, and these developments may delay the transition to the fifth and final phase of the plan for the return to normal life. They affirmed that the next few days will be decisive in determining the direction that the concerned authorities will take in the country, indicating that all eyes will be on the rate of infections compared to the number of swab tests being conducted on a daily basis. Amid assurances that the Ministry of Health will hold a meeting on Thursday with offi- cials of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the sources did not rule out the possibility of resorting to the decision to close the airport along with a package of strict measures that were applied earlier.
They stressed that the situation sparks tension that cannot be underestimated. Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation yesterday extended its decision to reduce the number of passengers arriving to the country until further notice.
This decision had come into effect on January 24, and was due to end on February 6. The decision stipulates that all foreign companies should have only 35 passengers onboard each fl ight, but the Kuwait Airways and Al-Jazeera fl ights are excluded from the decision. In addition, MP Abdul Kareem Al-Kandari said he believes the recent increase in the COVID-19 cases is due to the entry of passengers with forged PCR certificates. He insisted that this is a governmental responsibility and must be dealt with firmly. MP Al-Kandari said, “If there are any plans to close the airport, they must be announced well in advance so that citizens do not get stranded, as this was what had happened previously after every sudden decision to close the entry ports.”