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Kuwait sees coronavirus jump as lockdown holds

Kuwait has registered 947 coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours as the country continues its total lockdown.
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 - RC229G938E9I

Kuwait announced a nearly triple-digit jump in coronavirus cases today as the country continues its total lockdown. The numbers could signal a further extension of Kuwait’s harsh anti-virus measures.

Kuwait’s Ministry of Health reported Thursday that it had registered 947 positive coronavirus tests in the preceding 24 hours, bringing the total in the country to 11,975. Kuwait announced 188 recoveries and six deaths today.

Kuwait first went into lockdown to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus in March. In April, the restrictions loosened to a 16-hour curfew.

However, following an uptick in cases, the Kuwaiti government announced last week it would begin a “total curfew” that went into effect on Sunday and will continue to May 30 — coinciding with the Islamic Eid al-Fitr celebration that begins in a week.

Only essential businesses like supermarkets are exempt and everything else must remain closed, per the current restrictions. People cannot drive, but can walk outside with masks to get essentials and also take walks between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m., according to Reuters.

The Gulf states are divided as some countries ease restrictions and others return to shutdowns. Dubai re-opened public parks and private beaches yesterday. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, declared a 24-hour curfew for five days during the Eid holiday.