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Official: 92,000 expats left Kuwait in the past 3 months

Kuwaiti healthy ministry workers prepare to scan expatriates living in Kuwait who returned from Egypt, Syria and Lebanon, as they arrive to a specified place to be tested for coronavirus in Kuwait City on 12 March 2020. [YASSER AL-ZAYYAT/AFP via Getty Images]
Kuwaiti healthy ministry workers prepare to scan expatriates living in Kuwait who returned from Egypt, Syria and Lebanon, as they arrive to a specified place to be tested for coronavirus in Kuwait City on 12 March 2020. [YASSER AL-ZAYYAT/AFP via Getty Images]

More than 92,000 expatriates left Kuwait in April, May and June through Kuwait International Airport, the Director of Operations at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) at Kuwait International Airport, Mansour Al-Hashimi, said.

Al-Hashimi said the expats included residents as well as violators of residency regulations who left aboard 600 flights.

According to the Kuwaiti official, once the administration receives a request from a country or an embassy wishing to operate flights to repatriate their citizens, the administration grants its approval within 24 hours.

He stressed that since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, only commercial passenger flights stopped operating while those scheduled to repatriate citizens were allowed to use the airport.

READ: 1.2m expats to leave Saudi in 2020, report says

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, commercial cargo flights carrying food and medical supplies continued as usual,” Al-Hashimi said, adding that the evacuation trips for foreign residents resumed shortly afterwards.

He pointed out that Kuwait International Airport has fully complied with the World Health Organisation safety guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and to ensure the safety of the passengers.

Remarking on the resumption of air traffic, Al-Hashimi explained that the airport administration is waiting for instructions to start operating flights, in accordance with the schedule put together by the Kuwaiti Supreme Committee.

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