SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 23 January 2022, Sunday |

Kuwaitis told to avoid European travel over omicron fears

Kuwait has advised its nationals to avoid traveling to numerous European nations that have been severely impacted by the omicron coronavirus type.

The oil-rich Gulf state also advised Kuwaitis already on the continent to come home in a series of comments issued overnight Sunday due to an increase in cases on the continent.

The foreign ministry advised them to “wait their vacations” in general, and especially to France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Italy.

It also asked its residents, who are frequently major spenders overseas, to leave such countries “in light of the enormous and unprecedented increase in the number of new instances” of COVID-19.

In recent months, Europe has once again become the pandemic’s hub, with an increase in infections caused by the highly transmissible omicron strain.

According to an AFP tally on Saturday, the nations with the greatest ratio of illnesses per 100,000 residents in the globe were all in Europe.

More than 4.9 million illnesses were reported across Europe between the Atlantic and Russia in the seven days leading up to January 1.

During that one-week timeframe, France alone recorded almost one million new cases.

In Kuwait, the number of reported cases is still quite low.

However, it has increased 20-fold in a month, reaching roughly 600 cases on Sunday in a country of more than four million people.

Cases have also increased elsewhere in the Gulf.

Infections have nearly quadrupled in the United Arab Emirates since the beginning of December.

Saudi Arabia said on Sunday that a booster injection would be needed for access into public areas beginning February 1.

Following the greatest number of illnesses in months, the monarchy has reimposed social separation rules at the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca.