- Title: Kuwait gears up for coronavirus lockdown, minister urges calm
- Date: 12th March 2020
- Summary: KUWAIT CITY, KUWAIT (MARCH 12, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF EMPTY MARKET VARIOUS OF EMPTY COFFEE SHOP PEOPLE WALKING THROUGH MARKET (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) BENGALI FRUIT VENDOR, MOHAMMED GULAL, SAYING: "Usually by this time of day I would have sold for 50 or 60 dinars. Today, nothing. Didn't sell anything." VARIOUS OF EMPTY COFFEE SHOPS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) GENERAL MANAGER OF TRAVEL AGENCY, BAHJET IBRAHIM, SAYING: "The situation is very difficult. Because there is no income, but we have to pay salaries and rent, so the situation is very difficult." IBRAHIM SHOWING NOTICE BY AIRLINE STATING PASSENGERS CAN CHANGE TRAVEL DATES FREE OF CHARGE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) GENERAL MANAGER OF TRAVEL AGENCY, BAHJET IBRAHIM, SAYING: "During the US-Iraqi war, when they [U.S.] hit Saddam. Everything was closed and there was no travel, no flights. Travel agencies and airlines were the first to be harmed." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE OUTSIDE MAKESHIFT TESTING SITE PEOPLE WALKING TOWARDS TESTING SITE PEOPLE QUEUED OUTSIDE TESTING SITE AND PASSPORTS BEING CHECKED (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) CIVIL DEFENCE OFFICIAL, WALID MOHAMMED, SAYING: "Today most importantly, (we're testing) three nationalities, Egyptian, Lebanese and Syrians. We test a province each day, today is Al-Jahra, then other provinces." PEOPLE OUTSIDE TESTING SITE OLD MAN GETTING OUT OF CAR INTO WHEELCHAIR PEOPLE OUTSIDE TESTING SITE
- Keywords: Bahjet Ibrahim Kuwait airlines coronavirus markets travel
- Reuters ID: LVA001C4R0G1Z
- Location: KUWAIT CITY, KUWAIT
- City: KUWAIT CITY, KUWAIT
- Country: Kuwait
- Duration: 00:02:21
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text: Residents of Kuwait were getting ready for a virtual nation-wide lockdown as authorities took exceptional measures against coronavirus, including banning all commercial passenger flights starting Friday (March 13).
Streets in the Gulf Arab state were largely empty on Thursday, the start of a two-week public holiday declared by the government, which also banned people from visiting restaurants, cafes and gyms.
It was not clear how long the ban on commercial flights in and out of Kuwait would last.
The general manager of a travel agency Bahjet Ibrahim said "The situation is very difficult."
Meantime, Kuwait's foreign residents were tested for the virus.
"(We're testing) three nationalities; Egyptian, Lebanese and Syrians. We test a province each day," said civil defence official Walid Mohammad.
Kuwait, whose land borders with Saudi Arabia and Iraq are also closed to passenger movement, has 80 coronavirus cases. As in other Gulf Arab states, no deaths have been reported.
(Production: Stephanie McGehee, Tarek Fahmy, Angela Moore)
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