DESPARDES — Kuwait has suspended the issuance of all types of visas in a bid to control the Covid-19 outbreak, local media reported on Tuesday.
As of Wednesday, 72 confirmed cases have been recorded — only five of are in intensive care, four of whom are in stable condition reported Anadolu.
The decision, taken by the cabinet, was implemented earlier this week at all immigration departments, Kuwait Times reported.
An unnamed official at the interior ministry’s public relations department told the paper that citizens of countries affected by the coronavirus outbreak will not be allowed to enter the country.
However, citizens of other countries, who have the option to enter Kuwait with visas on arrival, will only be issued week-long visas which will not be extended.
Foreign diplomats are excluded from the decision.
The Kuwaiti cabinet has also ordered all cinemas, theaters, cultural centers and wedding halls to close down to prevent gatherings.
It has also extended the closure of all schools and universities for an additional two weeks and called on sports federations to halt all sports events and matches until further notice.
The cabinet has also announced that it will meet daily to follow up on the coronavirus updates and take the required action.
The new measures are part of plans aimed at restricting the spread of the virus – Kuwait announced that four new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, increasing the total number of cases in the country to 69.
Earlier this week, Kuwait’s local health authority also urged all travelers coming into Kuwait from seven countries including India, Bangladesh, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt, to home quarantine themselves for a period of two weeks from the date of departure.
Last week, Kuwait also announced that passengers arriving from India, Egypt, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Syria and Lebanon, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia have to provide health certificates confirming negative coronavirus results before getting onto a Kuwait-bound plane.
Those found in violation of the injunction will be denied entry.
The examination certificate must be issued by medical centers approved by Kuwaiti embassies in those countries.
In countries where there are no Kuwaiti missions, the document must be certified by relevant local health authorities.
Passengers who fail to produce the certificate will be barred from entering Kuwait and will be sent back on the same carrier, which will be fined for infraction, officials said.