By B Izzak
KUWAIT: The Council of Ministers yesterday imposed lockdowns on Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh and Mahboula, two areas densely populated with expatriates, following a steep rise in coronavirus cases among expat workers.
The Cabinet also decided to expand the partial curfew in other areas to 6 am starting Tuesday morning, which means that the curfew will now apply from 5 pm to 6 am.
“This one is a sensitive and delicate phase. We are trying to contain the spread of the disease,” Health Minister Sheikh Dr Basel Al-Sabah said at a press conference.
Government spokesman Tareq Al-Mazrem said the lockdown on Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh and Mahboula will last for two weeks, which means completely isolating the two areas. The lockdown means that residents will have to stay at home.
Interior Minister Anas Al-Saleh said the decision aims at preventing the disease from spreading to other areas and in order to enable the health authorities to contain the disease among the residents.
He said that other areas will be placed under lockdown if many coronavirus cases are reported there. He said the government is contemplating a plan to transfer expat workers from inside Kuwait City to areas outside the capital.
Mazrem also said that the Council of Ministers extended until April 26 the shutdown of government offices to fight the disease.
Saleh said the interior ministry began yesterday receiving illegal residents from the Egyptian community after completing the process for Filipinos, a majority of whom have already departed the country.
Mazrem also said that the Council of Ministers asked the interior minister to form a working team to investigate and fight against visa traders.Earlier in the day, the interior minister described visa traders as very ugly and brutal and vowed to take punitive actions against them.
The minister said following the Cabinet meeting that the work of the government against visa traders will not stop until the issue is completely eradicated.The interior minister also said the government will set up drive-through centers for tests against the coronavirus.