On the first day of Ramadan, Kuwait’s roads witnessed a ‘seasonal traffic congestion’ reminiscent with every occasion and event, as inner roads and streets and highways bore the brunt of traffic as impatient motorists patiently crawled their way to their destinations, especially in conjunction with the start or end of working hours, which caused delays.

The first working day of the holy month also witnessed a great commitment from employees to attend, which ranged between 75 percent and 97 percent in most government agencies, reports a local Arabic daily.

In this context, the Director of the Public Record and Hours Monitoring Department at the Ministry of Health, Najeeb Al-Awadi, confirmed the compliance rate on the first working day of Ramadan was about 97 percent, while the remaining percentage of employees obtained an exemption through the General Medical Council.

He pointed out there is daily control within the Civil Service Commission with regard to supervision and control over attendance through automatic registration system, stressing that the laws, regulations, systems and instructions of the CSC are followed with regard to working hours — attendance and departure system.

For its part, the schools departments of the Ministry of Education complied with the working hours for Ramadan, which started at 9:30 am but there was some congestion in car parking lots since the Ministry provided electronic fingerprint devices in its basements and main entrances.

The Undersecretary of the Ministry, Dr. Ali Al-Yacoub, in a statement said the ministry’s commitment in all its sectors, affiliated departments and schools to the working hours, explaining that the employees are committed to their appointments and the rate of attendance was 95 percent.

Despite the traffic congestion, Kuwait University students committed themselves to attending the first day of Ramadan, and the administrative staff committed themselves to work from nine thirty in the morning until two in the afternoon, with a grace period of a quarter of an hour late in the morning.

The atmosphere in the Ministry of Higher Education did not differ from that of the rest of the state, as the ministry set review dates from ten in the morning until one in the afternoon in the reception hall during the month of Ramadan by booking electronic appointments in advance.

For his part, the Assistant Undersecretary for the Financial and Administrative Affairs Sector in the Ministry of Social Affairs, Dr. Bader Al-Adwani, said that the attendance rate of employees in various sectors exceeded 90 percent.

Meanwhile, sources from the Ministry of Public Works revealed that attendance rates at the beginning of the first working day in the holy month of Ramadan exceeded 90%, pointing out that the remaining percentage was due to regular leave of absence taken by some employees.

The sources stated that attendance in the external departments affiliated to the “Works” is normal, and it is expected that the percentage of vacations will increase with the beginning of the last ten days of Ramadan.

The official spokesman for the Kuwait Municipality, Muhammad Al-Mutairi, said the workers in the Municipality are committed to honoring the circular of the Civil Service Commission regarding the mechanism of official working hours in Ramadan from nine thirty in the morning until two in the afternoon.

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