Coronavirus in KuwaitKuwait

Kuwaiti citizens repatriated on 19 flights Monday

KUWAIT: Kuwaiti nationals leave Kuwait International Airport upon their return as part of a repatriation plan on Monday. – Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

KUWAIT: Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said 19 flights brought hundreds of citizens back home on Monday, the second day of a repatriation plan aimed at bringing back nationals amidst spread of coronavirus. The second day of a three-day plan included Arab and European capitals and cities, DGCA said in a statement. It said 19 flights brought citizens from Jeddah, Dammam and Riyadh, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Manama, Cairo, Amman and London.

Kuwait Airways operated 10 flights while Jazeera Airways operated nine flights. President of DGCA Sheikh Salman Al-Sabah had said earlier in the day the second phase of repatriation plan would start tomorrow and lasts for three days. The second phase will include following destinations: Amman, Casablanca, Nouakchott, Istanbul, Vienna, Alexandria, Cairo, New York, Brussels, London, Paris, Manila, Bangkok, Dakar, Tunis, Malta, Beirut, Tbilisi, Baku, Mumbai, Delhi, Sarajevo and Amsterdam.

Mandatory quarantine
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health said Monday 146 citizens who were repatriated on Sunday were transferred to mandatory quarantine while the remaining 2,933 were sent to home quarantine. Six persons were transferred to Jaber Al-Ahmad Hospital because medical workers testing incoming passengers at the airport suspected that they have coronavirus symptoms, MoH’s Assistant Undersecretary for Technical Affairs Dr Abdulrahman Al-Mutairi said.Al-Mutairi, also the supervisor on medical testing facilities at Kuwait International Airport, said four cases were transferred to different hospitals to continue their treatment they were undergoing abroad. Mutairi said 3,089 Kuwaiti citizens were repatriated on 27 flights on Sunday.

Global airline
In the meantime, Kuwait plans to contract a global airline to bring home nationals stranded in cities unreachable by its two domestic airlines, Kuwait Airways and Jazeera Airways, amid the global spread of the deadly coronavirus. The Cabinet is the sole body responsible for choosing the operator, Kuwait airport’s Deputy Director at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Saleh Al-Faddaghi said on Monday. Four flights arrived late Monday, which represents the second day of the huge endeavor. This comes after another 15 flights arrived earlier and another 27 arrived the day before, bringing the total to 46 flights, thus far.

The recent flights are part of a phase one, which includes trips from neighboring Gulf Arab countries and some Arab and global destinations. This particular phase will be followed by a “rest day,” said the official, ahead of the commencement phase two on Thursday, which focuses on the remaining Arab countries and the rest of the world. This period will also target a three-day repatriation of passengers with specific medical needs.

The whole plan is being administered under the directions of the Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr Ahmad Al-Nasser Al-Sabah and is being executed by a ministerial committee led by Ambassador Dhari Al-Ajran. The operating procedures for each body under the plan at Kuwait International Airport, have been outlined under the supervision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and healthcare authorities.

Passengers will be supervised by Kuwaiti authorities upon entering the plane at their respective locations, during their flight, at the airport where they will be administered virus detection health checks, upon receiving baggage and upon departing the airport to their mandatory home or institutional quarantine or to a medical facility. – KUNA

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