Dubai: Kuwait’s cabinet has ordered state bodies to slash staff attendance by 50 per cent in response to an exponential increase in COVID- 19 infections across the country, driven by the Omicron variant, local media reported.
Private sectors employers have been told to limit their staff capacity in a manner that would still allow for a smooth workflow, the government’s communication centre said, quoting spokesman Tareq Al Mezrem.
Al Mezrem also said that conferences and meetings would shift back to video link from Wednesday, in a bid to curb the spread of the virus, while public transport capacity should not exceed 50 per cent. Similarly, sporting venues nationwide, in addition to gyms and salons, would only allow entry to those who have been fully vaccinated.
Kuwait has seen a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases since the Omicron variant took hold. The Civil Service Commission (CSC) issued a resolution Monday following the cabinet’s meeting to announce the limiting of staff capacity, as well as shifting to holding conferences and meetings virtually.
In a statement, the CSC said it had ordered all government bodies to set their working hours in accordance with the public interest. It pointed out that the fingerprint attendance system in all government agencies will be suspended.
The CSC indicated the new temporary measures had been issued as part of the government’s efforts to confront the spread of COVID-19.
COVID-19 vaccines for children aged between five and 11 are expected to arrive in Kuwait in the coming few weeks, an official of the Ministry of Health announced on Monday. Dr. Mustafa Redha, the MoH Undersecretary, said the department had made contracts with vaccine producers to secure the doses for thechildren.
In addition, the Ministry of Health said it will start implementing a new protocol regarding duration of quarantine for those infected with coronavirus - 7 days for vaccinated and 10 days for non-vaccinated. The new protocol will be linked to the Shlonak app.
For travelers arriving in Kuwait, home quarantine procedures will be monitored on the Shlonak app by the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Interior and Directorate General of Civil Aviation. All arrivals will have to download Shlonak app.
The ministry said staff in nurseries and children’s clubs should be fully vaccinated and adhere to health requirements. Workers and visitors to beauty salons, barber shops and health clubs should also be fully vaccinated.