KUWAIT, Feb 17 (KUNA) -- The cabinet held its weekly meeting at Al-Saif Palace on Monday under the chairmanship of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah one day after the issuance of the Amiri Decree 49 (2020) on minor reshuffle.
At the beginning of the meeting, His Highness the Prime Minister welcomed the new cabinet members - the Minister of Finance Barrak Ali Barrak Al-Shitan and the Minister of Electricity and Water Mohammad Hejji Bushehri.
He congratulated them on the dear trust placed in them by His Highness the Amir and wished them success in serving the interests of the homeland, said Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Khaled Al-Saleh following the meeting.
His Highness the Prime Minister reminded the new minsters of the instructions given to them by His Highness the Amir during the wearing-in ceremony, urging commitment to these instructions and cooperation with the other colleagues in the cabinet to realize the desired objectives.
He apprised the cabinet members of the outcomes of the visit he paid to the sisterly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia last Tuesday and his meeting with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saudi and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman - the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense.
His Highness the Prime Minister spoke highly of the historical relationship between the leaders and peoples of both sisterly countries.
He briefed them on the results of the last week visit to Kuwait by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the talks held on ways to strengthen the bilateral ties in all fields as well as regional and international issues of common concern.
His Highness the Prime Minister also apprised the cabinet meeting of outcomes of the participation of the Kuwaiti delegation, led by him, in the Munich Security Conference (MSC-2020) recently held in Germany on the challenges facing the world peace and security.
He also briefed them on the meeting he held with chief delegates to the conference on the sidelines of the gathering.
Meanwhile, Minister of Health Dr. Sheikh Bassel Al-Sabah submitted a report on the latest developments of coronavirus, amid the spread of the epidemic and the rising number the deaths and the cases infected with the disease.
He also offered statistics on the countries in which the disease is spreading, saying that the cases infected with the disease hit a four-fold rate during the last two weeks.
The minister stressed that Kuwait is free of the coronavirus until now, thanks to Allah.
The Cabinet lauded the efforts made by the ministry and all concerned bodies, affirming the follow-up on the implementation of the emergency plan to prevent the virus from entering the country.
The ministry also is following up implementing the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations on keeping people away from gatherings and limiting the congregations.
As a result, the Cabinet instructed the Foreign Ministry to inform all the country's diplomatic missions abroad to delay the celebrations of the National Days this year.
Concerning the local preventive measures, the Cabinet directed the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to ban exporting the preventive and medical substances relating to combating the virus.
The Cabinet directed the Civil Service Commission to set regulations to curb the travel of employees on official missions, except for necessity.
It stressed the importance of avoiding any gatherings by both citizens and residents, mainly during the National Days' celebrations to avoid all risks arising from the spread of this disease and preserve the safety of citizens and residents. Within the framework of the Cabinet's follow-up on the implementation of the government action program, the Council was briefed on the reports by some government agencies and decided to refer all reports to the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development for study and then send a report to the General Secretariat of the Cabinet on what has been accomplished within two weeks to refer it to the Cabinet.
The Cabinet discussed the recommendations by the legal affairs committee on a draft resolution on amending some provisions of the Law No. 74/1983 on combating drugs and a bill on amending some provisions of the decree No. 67/1976 on traffic, which aims to amend most penalties mentioned in Chapter 5.
In addition, the Council was informed about the recommendations of the economic affairs committee on the semi-annual report on the activities of the Supreme Council of Privatization (January 2020) which includes the most important activities and achievements over the last six months.
Furthermore, the Council was apprised of the recommendations of the minutes of the joint meeting of the Economic Affairs and Public Services Committees concerning a report on the results of the committee of studying contracting procedures at government agencies.
The Council took a decision to assign the Central Agency for Public Tenders, in coordination with all relevant government agencies, to follow up on procedures and decisions should be taken by these bodies to carry out the commendations and results made by the committee, and provide the Cabinet with results within two months as of today (Monday).
The ministers listened to a presentation submitted by Minister of Public Works and Minister of Housing Affairs Rana Al-Fares on the details of the collapse incident at Al-Mutlaa residential area project that left some people dead or wounded.
She told the Cabinet about all administrative and legal measures taken to identify those responsible for this incident as well as the precautions to be taken for the safety of workers at all sites.
The Cabinet expressed is great sorrow over the painful incident, praying to Allah to bless the souls of the victims with mercy in Paradise and wishing a speedy recovery to the injured.
It also discussed National Assembly affairs and was briefed on proposals submitted by some MPs.
Finally, the Cabinet dealt with the political affairs in light of the reports pertaining to the ongoing developments in the political arena on both Arab and international levels. (end) aas.hm