Shisha is a water pipe made of clay, ornately carved metals or plastics, which enables smoking flavoured tobacco as it is bubbled through water. Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Cairo: Kuwait has banned serving the shisha or water pipe at the coffeeshops to head off transmission of the new coronavirus as the country is struggling to prevent an outbreak of the potentially fatal ailment.

The Health Ministry has called for keeping the ban until the health situation in the country is assessed.

Café operators have welcomed the ban on health grounds despite the financial losses. “Complying with this decision is a must for all cafes,” Ayman Halim, a café manager told Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai.

“Banning the shisha is a good preventive measure. Owners of coffeshops will accept financial losses as long as the ban is for the common good. We have to care about health of patrons of cafes and workers at them,” he added.

Kuwait has reported 56 Covid-cases so far, making it the country with the highest tally of infections in the Middle East after Iran.

The Health Ministry has also demanded workers at barber’s and hairdressing shops as well as health clubs to strictly observe hygiene rules, including the use of gloves and disinfectants.

“The ministry is keen to combat and prevent the spread of the Covid-19 in society in view of the global health situation,” it added in a statement.

The coronavirus has claimed hundreds of lives among thousands of infections around the globe since December when it broke out in China where the virus originated.