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A photo taken on March 22 shows a deserted street in Kuwait city amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Kuwait imposed a curfew nationwide starting on Sunday at 5pm until 4am to fight the spread of the coronavirus, state news agency KUNA said. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Kuwait announced it was imposing a nationwide 11-hour curfew from 5pm to 4am starting Sunday until further notice, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.

The drastic measure comes as part of the country’s efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

“Regrettably, failing to comply with the Ministry of Health’s instructions to stay indoors has forced the government to impose a partial curfew,” said Anas Khaled Nasser Al Saleh, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, in a press conference after a cabinet meeting.

He added that the Civil Defence Committee will issue identification cards for people working in vital sectors to ensure they can move about during the curfew.

Al Saleh said the Kuwaiti Cabinet also decided to extend a suspension of the government and private sectors for another two weeks.

Earlier last week, the government warned it would implement stricter measures in the fight against the coronavirus if the public did not adhere to the issued guidelines and laws.

The minister emphasised that anyone caught breaking the coronavirus curfew in Kuwait will be jailed for up to three years and fined 10,000 Kuwaiti dinars ($32,000) in line with new laws.

12 new cases

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health in Kuwait confirmed another 12 cases of the deadly coronavirus in the last 24 hours, raising the total number of cases in the country to 188. The announcement was made during a press conference held today.

The new cases include two Kuwaitis and two Filipinos who were in contact with people who came from the UK, one Kuwaiti who had direct contact with a person who returned from Egypt, as well as a Kuwaiti who had travelled to Brazil.

Out of the 188 cases, 158 are currently being treated. Five others, two stable and three in critical condition, are in intensive care unit, according to Al Arabiya.

Kuwait had announced early this morning that three people have recovered from the virus, bringing the total number of recoveries to 30. Meanwhile, 593 people have left quarantine facilities after receiving medical care and undergoing observations, the ministry said.