Kuwait ramps up lockdown measures amid spike in Covid-19 cases

Kuwait ramps up lockdown measures amid spike in Covid-19 cases
A one month curfew has been imposed in Kuwait after a spike in Covid-19 cases were recorded on Thursday.
2 min read
The curfew will be in place for at least one month [Getty]
Kuwait on Thursday announced a minimum one-month curfew aimed at curbing a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, after it recorded its highest daily infection count. 

Kuwait has since February 7 cut opening hours for non-essential retail 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 5 p.m. (1400 GMT) to 5 a.m. 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.

Read also: Gulf Arab states launch new restrictions over virus fears

On Thursday, Kuwait recorded 1,716 coronavirus infections - the highest count in 24 hours since the start of the outbreak - bringing the total number of cases to more than 196,000, including 1,105 deaths.

The oil-rich country had 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. 

Agencies contributed to this report.

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