KUWAIT: Kuwait registered 851 new coronavirus cases yesterday after announcing 1,021 new cases Friday, while total deaths reached 998 after six new fatalities were declared yesterday and seven a day before. The total number of COVID-19 infections stood yesterday at 176,903, the Ministry of Health announced.

Meanwhile, the number of patients in intensive care units (ICU) increased from 122 on Friday to 129 yesterday, as the total number of patients hospitalized jumped from 10,523 to 10,651 in one day. Health workers conducted a total of 20,359 swab tests over the past 48 hours, ministry spokesman Dr Abdullah Al-Sanad said, noting that the total number of tests rose to 1,660,406.

As for recoveries, the ministry announced 717 and 642 new recoveries yesterday and Friday respectively, raising the total to 165,254. Dr Sanad further urged the public to abide by health precautions, mainly following social distancing rules, which remains the best way to halt the spread of the virus.

The government had insisting during a meeting with a parliamentary panel last week that it will continue with its latest decisions to close shops to contain the spread of the coronavirus, despite calls to end the closures for financial reasons. Rapporteur of the National Assembly’s health and labor committee said following its meeting Wednesday that they discussed with the health ministry representatives the latest developments and called on them to cancel the closures and focus on controlling arrivals from the airport and other terminals.

He said the ministry insisted it will continue with the closures and “we stressed that if the closures will continue, the government should compensate businesses” affected by the measures. He added that if the government does not end the closures, MPs will submit a draft law for compensation.

Hammad said that MPs told the health ministry to test all people arriving through the airport and no one should be allowed to leave before knowing the result. The government had decided to close all shops from 8:00 pm to 5:00 am the next day and completely shut health clubs, salons and barber shops, starting from last Sunday. Kuwait also banned the entry of all foreigners for two weeks starting on the same day.