By B Izzak

KUWAIT: Health Minister Sheikh Dr Basel Al-Sabah yesterday said life in Kuwait will go back to normal and all schools will reopen in September after some two million people are expected to be vaccinated. The minister said so far some 400,000 people have taken the vaccination, including around half the elderly among Kuwaitis and a quarter of elderly people among expats.

Sheikh Basel said by the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan (around mid-May), the number of vaccinations will reach one million and double by September. He said all schools will reopen in September after the completion of a ministry plan to vaccinate all teaching staff. In addition, people working in cooperative societies, barbershops, salons and banks will also be vaccinated soon.

The minister called on people to get vaccinated, saying it is the best way to save lives and prevent being infected by the deadly coronavirus. He said after Ramadan, only people who have been vaccinated will be allowed to go to cinemas, adding that shops whose workers have not been vaccinated will be closed.

The health ministry yesterday registered 1,332 COVID-19 cases over a 24-hour span, taking total infections to 210,855, while seven fatalities were recorded, raising the death toll to 1,179. Active cases amounted to 14,169 with 219 in intensive care units, ministry spokesman Dr Abdullah Al-Sanad said. Health authorities conducted 7,365 swab tests, taking total tests to 1,914,579, which meant 18.1 percent of swab tests performed in the past 24 hours were positive, he revealed.

Sanad urged everyone in Kuwait to comply with the precautionary measures against the virus and maintain social distancing. He recommended everyone should access the health ministry's official social media accounts and those of official authorities in the country to view instructions, recommendations and everything that will contribute to defeat the virus. Earlier, the ministry confirmed 1,335 more recovery cases, taking total recoveries to 195,507.