Committee studying plans to charge fee for blood tests from expatriates

Ministry of Health plans to charge a fee for blood tests from expatriates, local Arabic news paper Al-Anba daily reported. According to Al Anba report, the ministry is preparing the proposal with the charges for each type of blood test, after which it will be submitted to the Minister of Health in the next phase.

India launches record-breaking 104 satellites from single rocket

Indian PM Narendra Modi hails ‘exceptional achievement’ that overtakes Russian record of 37 satellites in single launch


India’s space agency has announced the successful launch of a record-breaking 104 nano satellites into orbit, all onboard a single rocket.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) said the milestone launch, from the Sriharikota space centre in the country’s south, overtook the 2014 Russian record of 37 satellites in a single launch. Three of the satellites, which weigh less than 10kg each, were Indian-owned, 96 were from US companies, and the rest belonged to companies based in Israel, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates. India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, hailed the launch on Twitter as an “exceptional achievement”.

This remarkable feat by @isro is yet another proud moment for our space scientific community and the nation. India salutes our scientists.

The chairman of the space agency, Kiran Kumar, said his team had not set out to break records. “We are just trying to maximise our capability with each launch and trying to utilise that launch for the ability it has got, and get the maximum in return,” he said.

The launch helps to cement India’s place as a serious player in the burgeoning private space market. In September 2014 the country became just the fourth after the US, the former Soviet Union and the European Space Agency to successfully guide a spacecraft into orbit around Mars. India, which became just the sixth nation to launch its own rocket in 1980, has long made space research a priority. The Indian government has increased the budget for its space programme this year and also announced plans to send a mission to Venus.


India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, personally supervised the country’s efforts in the area, seeing an affinity between a scientific outlook and the rational, secular worldview he hoped to impose on a nation riven by caste and religious divisions.The phrase “world record” was trending on Twitter India for much of Wednesday morning.

Kuwait works on increasing emergency ambulances

The Ministry of Health is keen on increasing the number of ambulances in the forthcoming period, said Minister Jamal Al-Harbi on Monday.

In a statement to reporters on the sidelines of the inauguration of Adan hospital's ambulance center today, Dr. Al-Harbi added that air ambulance in Ahmadi district dealt with 600 cases last year.He noted that regular ambulances dealt with 22,000 cases in the same period, indicating that the new center has 17 modern ambulances and two helicopters equipped with crews of professional paramedics and technical staff to offer urgent services to the wounded.

The center serves several areas such as Mubarak Al-Kabeer, Fintas, Fahad Al-Ahmad, Eqaila, Mahboula and Jaber Al-Ali, he pointed out. He stressed that the ministry has been evolving emergency departments at hospitals to provide developed services for patients and enhance potentials of workers periodically. The center has a department for training emergency staff on how to save lives of patients in record time in accordance with recommendations by World H

Kuwait Authorities suspended registration of absconding cases by sponsors against domestic workers

The Domestic Workers Department has suspended the registration of absconding cases filed by sponsors against domestic workers through the service centers, reports local Arabic news paper Al-Seyassah daily. According to report, the Domestic Workers Department will first verify if the sponsors paid all dues to the workers before registering the case. The department also record information of a worker who files a complaint, daily added.

Kuwait Authorities to recheck license issued after 2014

All driving licences for expatriates which were issued after 2014 must be renewed at the department that had issued them, reports Al-Anba daily.

According to the Al Anba report, this is to help the authorities to refer to the archive and check the purpose of issuing the licence. If the person has changed the profession that does not qualify him/her to hold the licence, it will be withdrawn.

No more plastic in cotton buds: Johnson & Johnson confirm they will make stems from a different material after campaign to banish them from the sea


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No more plastic in cotton buds: Johnson & Johnson confirm they will make stems from a different material after campaign to banish them from the sea

Cotton buds made by Johnson & Johnson will no longer have plastic stems, following a campaign to banish plastic from the sea. Plastic cotton buds are the number one item of plastic, sewage-related debris found on beaches and in rivers, according to the Marine Conservation Society. Its volunteers have previously found 13,500 of the tiny plastic sticks on a single beach.  The switch to paper handles began yesterday and should be on sale in Britain in the coming weeks.

Campaigners say cotton buds are wrongly flushed in their hundreds of thousands every week in the UK, with their narrow handles easily escaping through sewage works into the environment. Once in the sea, they become a magnet for toxic pollutants, which adhere to the plastic and can be swallowed by fish, which then enter the human food chain. Johnson & Johnson has joined supermarket Waitrose in announcing a switch from plastic to paper. Group marketing manager Niamh Finan said: ‘We recognise that our products have an environmental footprint, and that’s why we’re working hard to continually improve and champion best practice in sustainability, in line with our company’ s founding principles.’

A spokesman for the company added: ‘Johnson & Johnson Ltd is actively transitioning to paper sticks in our cotton buds.’ Companies under pressure over the ‘plastic poison’ polluting British beaches have already agreed in some cases to ban plastic microbeads from toothpaste, face scrubs and abrasive cleaners. Dr Sue Kinsey, senior pollution policy officer at the Marine Conservation Society, said: ‘The amount of cotton bud sticks our volunteer beach cleaners have found on UK beaches have doubled since 2012 from an average of 11 to 24 for every 100 metres of beach cleaned.

‘So we’re delighted that Johnson & Johnson have listened to consumer concerns and have changed from plastic to paper for their cotton bud sticks. This will certainly decrease the amount of plastic reaching our seas.’ Scottish environmentalist group Fidra have been calling for companies to switch to paper stems since 2013 and research officer Dr Clare Cavers said: ‘We commend Johnson & Johnson for leading this change in product material - it is an important part of the solution to the growing problem of plastic pollution in our seas.

‘A step change in consumer behaviour is needed to ensure people dispose of waste responsibly and only flush toilet paper.’ 


Source: Mail Online

Kuwaiti MP wants medical insurance for expats

Al Hashem welcomes medical insurance as move to ease pressure on hospitals

Manama: A Kuwaiti lawmaker who has been spearheading a campaign to impose all sorts of taxes on foreigners has hailed a recommendation by the parliamentary health committee to impose a medical insurance on all expatriates. “Such a move will ease the pressure on hospitals where the visiting families of foreigners are causing long waiting lists and the lack of oxygen cylinders in the emergency rooms,” MP Safa Al Hashem said. “There are foreign patients who come for post-natal treatment, cancer treatment, obesity treatment and others," the MP was quoted as saying by Kuwaiti media on Tuesday.

The lawmaker, the only woman among the 50 members elected to the parliament in November, said that the plan to recruit 30 consultants from other countries was a dangerous flaw within the state. “It is about time that Kuwaiti citizens are trained and qualified as consultants and advisors so that the state does not have to pay all the expenses for foreign experts. The state has paid the expenses of a consultant who stayed in an hotel for one full year.”

Last month, Minister of Health Jamal Al Harbi said the new world-class Jaber Hospital would start operation in months to serve Kuwaitis only. In March last year, a health official said the Emiri Hospital said it would take only Kuwaiti nationals as Outpatients Department (OPD) patients in the mornings. Capital health zone director Dr Afrah Al Sarraf said that expatriates could avail of the OPD services only in the afternoons and Kuwaitis would be treated in the mornings exclusively. However, Kuwaitis can opt for OPD services in the afternoons as well.

The idea of allocating morning medical services in public hospitals to Kuwaitis was first floated in 2013 when a hospital in Jahra, west to the capital Kuwait City, said it would accept only Kuwaitis in the morning and that foreigners were banned from entering the premises until the afternoon. However, expatriates could have access to doctors for treatment in emergency cases. The decision was made after lawmakers put pressure on the health ministry to introduce a new system that favoured Kuwaitis.

Kuwaiti patients have repeatedly complained that their waiting times to see a doctor had been extended as a result of the high number of foreigners receiving treatment at public hospitals. The initiative at Jahra was introduced on a six-month trial basis to assess its impact.About two thirds of the total population of 4.2 million people living in Kuwait are foreigners, mainly unskilled labourers, domestic helpers and drivers from Asian countries.

Indians nationals top the list of foreigners while the Egyptians make up the largest Arab community in Kuwait. Lawmakers have called for a special session in parliament to address the demographic imbalance.


Manila rolls out smoking ban

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada on Monday implemented a smoking ban in the capital, emulating an existing law in Davao City where President Duterte ruled as mayor for 22 years. Estrada, through City Ordinance 7748, prohibited smoking in public areas in Manila, including the city hall. 


At the town hall located in Ermita district, smoking will only be allowed at the Arroceros, Taft Avenue and Freedom Triangle gates. Violators of the ordinance will be arrested by city hall employees.  Estrada was a longtime smoker himself but stopped the vice after he was hospitalized last December due to asthma attacks. 

An executive order on a nationwide smoking ban is still awaiting Duterte's signature. Before his rise to the presidency, Duterte imposed in Davao City an anti-smoking ordinance that imposes a P5,000 fine or four months in prison as penalty. Around 17 million people, or nearly a third of the adult population, smoke in the Philippines -- the second highest in the region after Indonesia -- according to a 2014 report by Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance. 

Nearly half of all Filipino men and 9 percent of women smoke and experts say the habit costs the economy nearly $4 billion in healthcare and productivity losses every year. -- With reports from Dennis Datu, DZMM; Reuters 

Pakistan court bans Valentine's Day in capital

ISLAMABAD (AP) — A Pakistani judge on Monday banned all Valentine's Day celebrations in the country's capital, Islamabad, saying they are against Islamic teachings.

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The judge ruled on a petition seeking to ban public celebrations of the Western holiday, court official Niaz Saleh said. He said the order had been sent to Pakistan's media regulator to ensure a blackout on any Valentine's Day promotions in print or electronic media. The ban applies only to Pakistan's capital as the Islamabad high court has no jurisdiction beyond the city.

The regulator in a statement directed all Pakistani media outlets not to print or broadcast anything that promotes Valentine's Day. No event shall be held at any official level and at any public place, the statement quoted a part of the court order. Later on Monday, the government issued an order to local police to enforce the court ban. A similar order was in place last year in Islamabad.

Islamist and right-wing parties in Pakistan view Valentine's Day as vulgar Western import. However, the annual homage to romance on Feb. 14 has become popular in recent years across the Middle East and also in Pakistan.

Though some Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia also have sought to stamp out Valentine's Day, with the religious police mobilizing ahead of Feb. 14 and descending on gift and flower shops to confiscate all red items, including flowers, it is still celebrated widely in other places such as Dubai.

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Kuwait announces immediate measures to tackle traffic jam

The Ministry of Public Works announced on Monday instant measures to tackle the traffic congestion resulting from closure of the key Al-Ghazali bridge.

The extraordinary measures will be effective as of tomorrow (Tuesday), the ministry said in a statement, indicating that they are result of intensive meetings that involved officials from the traffic department, Kuwait University and the ports authority. Ahmad Al-Hesan, the assistant undersecretary for roads' engineering, said in a statement that the department is coordinating with other State authorities to tackle the problem that developed after closing the vital bridge on Friday due to roads' renovation works.

The problem is being tackled with several steps, such as reopening closed relay and marginal routes, he added. The Ministry of Interior said in a statement that part of Al-Ghazali road had to be shut down with onset of completing Al-Jahraa road project as well as Al-Ghazali road. As a result, traffic had to be diverted to Al-Jahraa side road leading to Shuwaikh port. The ministry listed a number of roads that could be used to stay away from the jam. Truckers are banned from driving from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Sundays to Thursdays.

Kuwait witnessed unprecedented traffic congestion yesterday due to the construction works and the required measures. ..Source : KUNA

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