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Kuwait drafts law to 'fine and imprison' conscious coronavirus conduits Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Kuwait drafts law to 'fine and imprison' conscious coronavirus conduits

The law will be submitted to the emir for approval [Getty]

Date of publication: 17 March, 2020

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On Tuesday, Kuwait’s Health Ministry reported seven further coronavirus cases, taking the country’s total to 130.
Kuwait's parliament endorsed a draft law which imposes harsh penalties against sufferers of the novel coronavirus who "intentionally infect others'', according to Arabic media reports on Tuesday, as the country scrambles to contain the virus.

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 of the tiny, oil-rich country, who has the power to refer it to parliament for debate.

Following other states in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Kuwait has taken a string of stringent precautionary measures to contain the spread of the virus, including the temporary suspension of all foreign flights and the closure of educational institutions.

On Tuesday, Kuwait's Health Ministry reported seven further coronavirus cases, taking the country's total to 130.

Speaking at a press conference, Abdullah al-Sanad, a health ministry spokesman, said the new cases were of Kuwaiti nationals who had recently returned from the UK.

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’".

The virus emerged in Wuhan, China last December, spreading to at least 146 countries and territories.

The World Health Organisation declared the outbreak a pandemic.

Out of over 183,000 confirmed cases, the death toll now exceeds 7,100, while more than 79,900 have recovered, according to Worldometer, a website that compiles case numbers.

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