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Kuwait to impose a seven-week ban on indoor gatherings

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Kuwait to impose a seven-week ban on indoor gatherings

Photo: Yasser Al-Zayyat/AFP/Getty Images

Kuwait will impose a seven-week ban on all indoor gatherings today in an effort to curb the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The ban, which will last until February 28, was imposed by Kuwait’s cabinet after the country recorded over 2600 new cases on January 7—a new record exceeding the previous peak recorded in June 2021. Despite this increased caseload, no new deaths have been recorded amid the surge of Omicron infections, nor are hospitals overwhelmed.

This success has been widely credited to the government’s decision to mandate COVID vaccinations, a move which was expanded to include a booster mandate in December. As a result, 75% of Kuwaitis are fully vaccinated, a number far above the MENA average of less than 50% per country.

Expect the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health to continue placing emphasis on vaccination and booster uptake in the coming months to improve the current 9% booster rate, likely looking to companies like Pfizer and Moderna—the country’s preferred vaccine providers—to increase inventory. As Kuwait approaches full vaccination status and increases its booster rate, expect Kuwait to reach out to its less-immunized neighbors including Iraq to try and expand vaccination rates region-wide.

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Photo: REUTERS/Luc Gnago

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