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Coronavirus: Kuwait reports first death from Covid-19 as cases near 500

Kuwait says it will treat all patients, including non-Kuwaitis, who make up nearly 70 percent of the population, for free
Kuwait has adopted the strictest measures in the Gulf to combat the spread of the virus (AFP)

Kuwait recorded on Saturday its first death from the coronavirus outbreak, state news agency KUNA reported, citing a health ministry spokesman.

The total number of people diagnosed with the disease increased by 62 in the past 24 hours to 479 cases, he said, according to KUNA.

Kuwait has adopted the strictest measures in the Gulf to combat the spread of the virus by largely locking down the country.

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Kuwait Municipality shut down 462 entities in March for breaking the health authorities' preventive measures designed to curb the spread of the virus, the Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Waleed Al Jassem said.

Jassem tweeted that municipality teams had closed shops, restaurants, hairdressers, gyms, toy stores, arcades and make-shift wedding halls. 

The teams, he added, had registered 4,483 warnings, 2,751 violations and removed 221 "camps".

The country has also announced that it will treat all Covid-19 patients, including non-Kuwaitis, who account for nearly 70 percent of the population for free.

On Thursday, the Kuwait Banking Association said a stimulus package announced by the country's central bank would raise banks' lending capacity by 5bn dinars ($16bn) to face the impact of the pandemic.

The central bank also announced a stimulus package to support vital sectors and small and medium-sized enterprises that included increasing the maximum lending limit to 100 percent from 90 percent.