Kuwaiti influencer arrested for promoting fake '15-minute coronavirus test'

Kuwaiti influencer arrested for promoting fake '15-minute coronavirus test'
A 15-minute coronavirus test kit that was promoted on a popular social media influencer's Snapchat account has led to her arrest in Kuwait.
2 min read
23 March, 2020
The influencer promoted the test on Snapchat [Screenshot]
A popular Kuwaiti social media influencer has been arrested by authorities for promoting an unlicensed 15-minute coronavirus test, local media reported.

Fouz Alfahd, who has 3 million followers on her Instagram account alone, shared the coronavirus testing kit on her Snapchat account.

"You can use this one time alone to see whether you have the coronavirus or not," the influencer said, while holding a stick resembling a pregnancy test.

"Of course, 95 percent of the results are correct but you still should go to check if you feel any symptoms," she adds.

"With all my paranoia, I struggled hard until I got this piece of equipment - it's good to have this at home," she noted before continuing to explain how the 15-minute test is conducted, despite government-sanctioned results taking 24-48 hours for results.

Read also: Qatar announces $150 million aid package to help Gaza fight coronavirus

Kuwait was one of the few countries in the region to quickly act on the now global pandemic.

Last week, Kuwait's parliament endorsed a draft law which imposes harsh penalties against sufferers of the novel coronavirus who "intentionally infect others".

According to the law, anyone who knowingly infects another person with any contagious disease, including the COVID-19 illness, can expect to face a maximum five years in prison and a fine of up to 50,000 dinars.

The proposed law, the details of which are shrouded in obscurity, will be submitted to the emir, who has the power to refer it to parliament for debate.

Administrators of 14 websites in Kuwait have also been charged with violating internet laws in relation to the pandemic, Arabian Business reports.

Mohammad al-Jabri, Kuwait's information minister, said that misinformation circulated by the websites had "sparked confusion and controversy and hampered government efforts to tackle the COVID-19 crisis".

Kuwait has also taken a string of stringent precautionary measures to contain the spread of the virus, including a nationwide lockdown, the temporary suspension of all foreign flights and the closure of educational institutions.

The COVID-19 virus, which was first detected in China's Wuhan in December, has killed more than 15,433 people worldwide, while over 358,735 infections have been confirmed.

As of yet, there are no known treatments for the virus, though more than 100,5645 have already recovered from the infection.

Kuwait has reported a total of 189 cases of the novel coronavirus though none have died.

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