By B Izzak
KUWAIT: The National Assembly’s health committee is scheduled to hold a crucial meeting with Health Minister Sheikh Dr Basel Al-Sabah on Sunday to discuss a number of issues, including the possibility of allowing expats to return to the country. The meeting will focus on the status of expatriates and allowing them to return to the country, reopening the international airport to foreigners and related travel ban decisions.
Kuwait has imposed a ban on the entry of expats for the past three months to combat the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, a majority of expats in the country have decided not to travel, because they will not be allowed to return, while thousands of expats with valid residencies are stuck abroad. The meeting will also discuss the economic impact of closing the airport to the return of expats – except in very limited cases – especially losses to airlines and travel agents.
The committee will also discuss with the minister the issue of vaccination amid increasing criticism of the ministry’s COVID-19 vaccination program. The meeting will also discuss the pandemic situation in the country in the light of the number of new cases remaining almost constant despite stringent measures. The committee is also expected to ask the minister if he plans to propose re-imposing a partial curfew.
Meanwhile, the health minister yesterday briefed the Cabinet about the status of the coronavirus pandemic in the country and the number of new cases. The Cabinet also discussed the situation of the vaccination drive. The Cabinet however did not take any new decisions despite media reports that the government was contemplating allowing the entry of expats into the country.