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Security officers tour The Avenues Mall in Kuwait City, the country's largest shopping centre, on June 27, 2021, to verify that only people vaccinated against COVID-19 had entered the facility. Image Credit: AFP

Kuwait City: Kuwait’s Ministry of Health called on private hospitals to help alleviate the pressure as the country witnessed an increase in COVID-19 patients in government hospitals and Intensive Care Units (ICU), local media reported.

On Saturday, the ministry said that 299 patients were in the ICUs, the highest occupancy rate since the pandemic began. In recent weeks, there has been a steep increase in ICU occupancy and hospitalisation. The increased pressure on the health sector has forced the ministry to cancel non-essential operations in both government and private hospitals.

Two hotspots

Based on data provided by the ministry, 39 per cent of the total COVID-19 cases in the country were reported from the Hawally governorate, followed by Al Ahmadi with 29 per cent.

Health officials said that the rise in cases is due to high population density, especially in Hawally which is home to around 858,835 people in a radius of 82 square kilometers. Largescale social events, despite a ban, were blamed for rise in cases in Al Ahmadi.

Vaccination drive

Health professionals, including doctors at the ministry, had pointed out that the situation is worsening, especially among those who are unvaccinated.

In the past 10 days, 94.5 per cent of the people who died of COVID-19 were unvaccinated.

Dr. Khaled Al Jarallah, head of COVID-19 committee at the ministry, said in a tweet that the majority of cases are reported among unvaccinated individuals.

Meanwhile, in an effort to ramp up its vaccination campaign, Dr. Abdullah Al Sanad, the official spokesman of the ministry said on Saturday that they have set up 36 vaccination centres across Kuwait.