KuwaitOther News

Government denies sending expats home

* Four new coronavirus cases as two more cases cured

* No decision on ending school year

* MoI denies death of inmate due to COVID-19

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: The government yesterday again denied any plans to send expatriates to their home countries after a lawmaker called for “letting expats out” to reduce pressure on medical services.

Minister of Social Affairs and Labour Mariam Al-Aqeel reiterated that the government has not received any request from any country to repatriate their communities from Kuwait.

MP Hamdan Al-Azemi called on the council of ministers to resume outbound flights from Kuwait for one week to allow any expatriates willing to do so to leave the country.

Azemi said that it’s better if each country takes care of its own citizens during this crisis, adding that Kuwait now needs to see health and food pressures reduced.

The government had resisted calls by some MPs and activists to reduce the number of expatriates in the country in order to reduce the health burden in case the coronavirus spreads.

The ministry of health yesterday reported four new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 104, of whom seven have already been cured after two more cases were cured yesterday.

The new cases are of an Indian man who came in contact with an Egyptian man who tested positive a few days ago after returning from Azerbaijan via Dubai, two cases of two Kuwaiti men returning from Britain and the fourth of a Kuwaiti woman returning from a trip to France and Qatar.

Of the 97 cases, six are in the intensive care unit while the rest are in stable condition.

The ministry of health’s testing centers for expatriates returning from Egypt, Syria and Lebanon yesterday made some amendments. They first extended for another day (Sunday) for such expatriates from Farwaniya governorate who were supposed to have finished tests yesterday, and they are now testing people who returned only from March 1 onwards and not from February 27. The center is at the international fairgrounds in Mishref.

In the meantime, the ministry of education held a top-level meeting yesterday and discussed whether to end the school year now in light of the coronavirus pandemic. But no decision was reached and the matter was referred to the council of ministers.

Kuwait on Friday cancelled Friday noon prayers and then ordered all mosques to be shut down for the first time in a bid to prevent gatherings that could facilitate the spread of the disease.

The measure was taken after the health minister said that they were testing some people who came from countries 10 days ago that were not infected and now they have become infected.

Kuwait had also declared a public holiday for two weeks and cancelled all commercial flights.

 The interior ministry denied that an inmate had died because of the coronavirus.

Back to top button