Security personnel on duty outside a church in Kuwait.
Security personnel on duty outside a church in Kuwait. Image Credit: Supplied

Cairo: Kuwait has urged vigilance in gatherings marking the New Year amid COVID-19 concerns after the country detected several cases of the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

The Health Ministry cautioned against “unsafe” gatherings and urged foreign communities to exercise “vigilance and cautions” during their religious congregations, citing the latest developments in the global and local epidemiological situation.

Kuwait Wednesday announced detecting 12 more cases of Omicron in people coming from Europe, bringing the total such infections in the country to 13.

The Health Ministry Friday reported 170 new coronavirus cases, but no fatality, raising the total infections in Kuwait to 414,761.

The Kuwaiti Interior Ministry has coordinated with churches in the country to handle the entry and exit of worshippers to head off crowding as part of a plan to limit the Omicron spread, according to Al Rai newspaper, citing security sources.

Each of the seven churches in the country will operate at half capacity and allow entry according to prior appointments, it added. Attendance is divided into two to three appointments based on the numbers of followers to avoid crowding inside the churches.

The Kuwaiti government has made receiving a booster shot against COVID-19 mandatory starting from January 2 for people who obtained the second dose of vaccination nine months ago.