COVID-19: Travel plans of NRIs go awry as Kuwait suspends flights

Jeddah: The travel plans of scores of NRIs hailing from the two Telugu States were disrupted as Kuwait suspended all incoming and outgoing flights from India and some other countries effective Saturday.

The Kuwait government, late on Friday night, decided to suspend all flights for a week with immediate effect to and from India besides Bangladesh, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Syria and Egypt in a bid to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Kuwait bound passengers who reached RGIA at Shamshabad on Saturday had to return home. “I was supposed to fly to Kuwait and reached airport but came to know that flights were cancelled, so I am returning home,” Kuwait-based NRI Mohammed Abdul Rauf, a native of Jagitial, told Telangana Today over phone.

“Amid confusion, I cancelled my travel to India two days before,” said Mohammed Imran, a long time NRI in Kuwait. He was schedule to travel to Hyderabad on Sunday along with his family for vacation. Several NRIs who are in India for holidays, are stranded and some of them may face serious re-entry visa issue, according to sources.

All arrivals in Kuwait from any other nationality or via airports other than the mentioned countries will be denied entry if they travelled to these countries in the last couple of weeks even if they have valid residency or visas.

Only Kuwaiti nationals living in these countries will be allowed in after undergoing the necessary quarantine measures, the statement read.

It is believed that the one-week suspension is aimed at putting in place all the required facilities at Kuwait Airport to screen all incoming passengers from abroad.

Earlier, Kuwait had announced that all incoming passengers from India required to submit coronavirus free medical certificate issued by medical facilities approved by Kuwait embassy in India. However, the decision was cancelled before implementation.

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