People arrived to be vaccinate by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health with the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine (Covishield) at al-Naseem vaccination centre, in al-Jahra governorate, 40 kms north of Kuwait City, on March 4, 2021 AFP
Kuwait on Thursday announced a minimum one-month curfew aimed at curbing a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, after it recorded its highest daily infection count.
Kuwait has since February 7 cut opening hours for non-essential retail shops and banned non-citizens from entering the country, but a steep increase in cases in the past week has forced the government to take more stringent measures.
"There will be a daily curfew from 5 p.m. (1400 GMT) to 5 a.m. starting next Sunday, March 7, until April 8," a government spokesman said in a televised statement.
He said people may walk to mosques to perform prayers during curfew hours, while pharmacies and food shops must use delivery services and all public parks and recreational areas will be closed.
Those who break the rules, which also include mandatory use of face masks outside the home, can be fined as much as $16,000 and jailed for up to three months.
On Thursday, Kuwait recorded 1,716 coronavirus infections -- the highest count in 24 hours since the start of the outbreak -- bringing the total number of cases to more than 196,000, including 1,105 deaths.
The oil-rich country had imposed some of the strictest measures in the Gulf during the first wave of the pandemic over the summer, enforcing a nationwide lockdown with few exceptions.
Like most Gulf countries, Kuwait's economy and state budgets have been hit hard by the economic fallout of the pandemic combined with the low price of oil.