Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Kuwait extends curfew hours starting April 6 and imposes lockdown on Mahboula and Jeleeb Al-Shuyoukh areas to slow spread of COVID-19.

This alert affects Kuwait

This alert began 06 Apr 2020 18:24 GMT and is scheduled to expire 01 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least April 26
  • Impact: Increased security, travel and business disruptions

Summary
Kuwaiti authorities extended curfew hours in the country and imposed a full lockdown on Mahboula district in Ahmadi Governorate and Jeleeb Al-Shuyoukh town in Farwaniyah Governorate from April 6 for a period of at least two weeks. New curfew hours of 1700-0600 have been introduced across the country. The new preventive measures are part of the government's efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Individuals who are found in violation of the orders could face jail terms of up to three years and fines. The move follows an earlier indefinite suspension of all commercial flights to and from Kuwait effective March 13. Flight arrivals will be limited to Kuwaiti nationals and cargo planes. Cargo flights will remain operational.

Authorities also extended the suspension of government and private agencies until April 26. Schools and universities will remain closed until Aug. 4. Authorities have also banned Kuwaiti citizens from meeting in restaurants, cafes, and commercial centers. Additional preventive restrictions and travel restrictions remain likely, depending on the evolution of disease activity in the coming days and weeks.

Background and Analysis
Kuwait's restrictions and preventive measures are similar to actions other governments are taking globally in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
World Health Organisation (WHO): www.who.int