Cairo: Kuwait Municipality plans to prohibit handshakes at mourning halls in cemeteries on health grounds, a Kuwaiti newspaper has reported.
The Kuwaiti Ministry of Health had called on the municipality to urge mourners gathering at cemeteries to offer condolences to give up handshakes and make do with eye greetings, according to Al Jarida, citing a municipal official.
“The municipality will issue a circular in this respect, banning handshakes inside mourning halls upon the recommendation of the Ministry of Health,” said the Kuwait Municipality’s Director-General Saud Al Dabus.
The ministry said in a circular to the municipality that its recommendation comes out of keenness to take preventive measures to protect public health and curtail the spread of contagious diseases due to handshakes.
In a reassuring message, a spokesman for the ministry Dr Abdullah Al Sanad said the recommendation to replace handshakes with eye greetings is part of efforts to boost safe health behaviour in everyday life. “But the current health situation inside the country is reassuring,” he added.
Meanwhile, Dr Ahmed Al Outeibi, a public health specialist, was quoted by Al Qabas newspaper as saying that there are no new viral infections in Kuwait. “There are no reports about anything new or illness cases. The circular directed by the Ministry of Health to the municipality is a mere activation of preventive measures,” he said.
Last month, Kuwaiti health authorities reported that a new variant of COVID-19 had been detected in Kuwait, but no emergency measures were planned.
“The JN.1 variant has been monitored in the country, but the health situation is stable. No unusual preventive measures will be taken for the time being,” Dr Al Sanad said at the time.