Global coronavirus cases rose by more than 400,000 for the first time late on Friday, a record one-day increase. While Kuwait has successfully managed to tamp down the first wave of infections, but now it is experiencing a surge in the number of cases.
The coronavirus infected 663 people in the country in the past 24 hours, raising the infection cases to 116,146 since the outbreak of the pandemic. 7 patients died, bringing the death toll to 701.
The statistics have raised concerns amongst the decision-makers at the Kuwaiti parliament and they are looking into new ways to enact and curb the outbreak.
Last week, as a part of a slew of measures aimed to contain the spread of the coronavirus, The Council of Ministers approved an amendment for imposing immediate fines on violators of health regulations and methods to pay these fines. Interestingly, Kuwaitis responded negatively to the high fines to be levied against anyone caught failing to wear a mask in public.
Many expressed fears about the high amount specified in the law, which stipulates a penalty of three months imprisonment and/or a fine reaching KD 5,000. The citizens said they supported a fine ranging between KD 50 and 100, and requested a review of this decision, or to be canceled. They appealed for a practical plan to ensure compliance with the regulations.
Responding to their grievance, it was reported by a local media that The Council of Ministers added a clause in the law for punishing people for not wearing masks, limiting the value of the fines to KD100. This is said to prevent the courts from being overburdened by cases, and to facilitate the process of paying fines without delay.
The law aims to ensure adherence to health requirements and not to threaten, intimidate, or to restrict people as some are saying.
Earlier this month Kuwaiti authorities have warned residents and citizens in the country to refrain from gatherings. Police officials were regularly monitoring the situation and have dispersing various public gatherings.
Kuwait reopened its economy in phases following a strict lockdown, with the five-month-long curfew ending on Aug 30, 2020. However, restrictions remain on public gatherings including weddings and parties.