KUWAIT: A total of 29,168 citizens have been repatriated between April 19 and May 6, part of a massive plan to bring nationals back home due to spread of coronavirus, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said Thursday. The number of citizens who registered in the ‘With You’ online platform was 42,584 but those who showed desire to return stood at 35,848 nationals, said Saad Al-Otaibi, head of repatriation flights’ operation at DGCA.
He said in a statement 81.37 percent of citizens who expressed desire to return were repatriated, and 18.63 percent did not join the plan because they changed their mind or wished to continue their treatment abroad. He said the first phase of the plan carried 9,267 people from 16 destinations between April 19-21. This phase included Riyadh, Dammam, Jeddah, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Manama, Doha, Muscat, Cairo, Alexandria, Amman, Istanbul, Ankara, London, Geneva and Paris.
Otaibi said 8,489 citizens were repatriated in the second phase, which took place on April 23-25 and included 26 destinations: Cairo, Alexandria, Amman, Istanbul, Casablanca, Tunis, Beirut, Larnaca, Nouakchott, Dakar, Valletta, Tbilisi, Baku, Mumbai, Delhi, Trivandrum, Manila, Bangkok, Sarajevo, Amsterdam, Vienna, London, Paris, Brussels, Munich and New York. The third phase, on April 27-29, brought back 5,685 Kuwaitis from 17 destinations:
Hael, Abu Dhabi, London, Gatwick, Manchester, Warsaw, Jakarta, Singapore, Sydney, Oaklands, Perth, Glasgow, Dublin, Yerevan, Moscow and New York. The fourth plan, which concluded the repatriation plan, brought back 5,727 citizens from Al-Najaf, Cairo, Barcelona, London, Montreal, Washington, Dallas, Miami, Los Angeles, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne. Otaibi explained the repatriation plan was conducted by Kuwait Airways, Jazeera Airways, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways.
Saleh Al-Faddaghi, DGCA’s Deputy Director General for Kuwait International Airport, said 118 citizens who were repatriated tested positive for the coronavirus. He said in a statement 3,916 citizens asked to be placed in mandatory quarantine, and 24,424 were left to stay in home quarantine.
Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health and Interior, DGCA, custom department, the fire department, Kuwait Red Crescent Society, Kuwait Airways and Jazeera Airways joined hands to implement the repatriation plan, which was ordered by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. This was the largest repatriation plan in Kuwait compared to the 1991 liberation of Kuwait, in 2006 and 2008 from Lebanon, and in 2011 and 2013 from Egypt. – KUNA