Kuwait imposes curfew amid surge in Covid cases

Curfew to last at least a month after Kuwait registers biggest daily number of cases

A Kuwaiti trader wears a protective face mask. Reuters
A Kuwaiti trader wears a protective face mask. Reuters

Kuwait on Thursday announced a minimum one-month curfew after it recorded its highest daily infection count.

The country has since February 7 cut opening hours for non-essential shops and banned non-citizens from entering the country.

But a steep increase in cases in the past week has forced the government to take more stringent measures.

"There will be a daily curfew from 5pm to 5am, starting next Sunday, March 7, until April 8," a government spokesman said in a televised statement.

He said people may walk to mosques to perform prayers during curfew hours, while pharmacies and food shops must use delivery services and all public parks and recreational areas will be closed.

Those who break the rules, which also include mandatory use of face masks outside the home, can be fined as much as $16,000 and jailed for up to three months.

On Thursday, Kuwait recorded 1,716 coronavirus infections bringing the total number of cases to more than 196,000, including 1,105 deaths.

The country imposed some of the strictest measures in the Gulf during the first wave of the pandemic over the summer, enforcing a nationwide lockdown with few exceptions.

Like most Gulf countries, Kuwait's economy and state budgets have been hit hard by the economic fallout of the pandemic, combined with the low price of oil.

Updated: March 5, 2021 01:12 AM

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