Kuwait army chief praises soldiers for coronavirus effort

The country has been one of the most successful at containing the virus

Police and civil aviation personnel wearing protective face masks work at the Kuwait Airport as the repatriation process of Kuwait citizens continues, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Kuwait City, Kuwait April 21, 2020. REUTERS/Stephanie McGehee

Kuwait's army Chief of Staff has praised the country's military for its work and support for the country throughout the coronavirus crisis.

Lieutenant-General Mohammad Al-Khodher, in a statement released by the military after he toured a coronavirus inspection site at an air base.

He prayed that the pandemic would end soon and expressed confidence that it would be defeated under the leadership of the country's emir, crown prince and prime minister, state news agency Kuna reported.

Kuwait recorded its first death from the coronavirus outbreak on April 4. It imposed a nationwide curfew on March 22, from 5pm to 4am local time, which was extended on April 6 to keep the population indoors between 5pm and 6am.

It also imposed a full lockdown on the areas of Mahboula and Jleeb Al Shuyoukh.

Those who break the curfew could face up to three years in jail and fines of KD 10,000 the interior minister confirmed.

A public holiday declared from March 12 to March 26, except for entities providing essential services, was extended by another two weeks.

On March 13, Kuwait stopped all travel except cargo flights from the country until further notice.People are banned from going to restaurants and cafes and have been asked to no longer hold the traditional diwaniya private and public gatherings, state news agency Kuna said.

The Cabinet has suspended classes at all public and private schools as well as higher education institutions until August 4.

Kuwait has also initiated legal proceedings against people spreading fake news and rumours in relation to coronavirus, the country’s minister of interior said on March 18.

The ministry had warned the population against sharing rumours, saying it would track the culprits and hold them accountable.

On March 28 Kuwait repatriated citizens from London on a specially-chartered flight.

The country is also holding daily press briefings televised but national and regional outlets at 11am Sunday-Thursday.