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MoH medical test for ‘visit’ proposal gets MPs support ‘Approve and implement as soon as possible’

KUWAIT CITY, Aug 18: The Ministry of Health is currently studying the possibility of requiring foreigners, who will enter the country on visit visas, to undergo medical examination in order to ensure they are free from any disease, reports Al-Rai daily quoting sources. Sources stressed the importance of taking this procedure as many foreigners extended their stay after the expiration of the three-month visit visa with the intention to transfer to work permits; thereby, joining the growing number of expatriate workers who have not undergone the required medical tests. Sources affirmed a number of lawmakers have expressed support for the proposal. In the case of a Nigerian athlete who was quarantined for some time due to suspicion of being infected with Ebola virus, sources said the discovery of this case is a clear manifestation of strong collaboration between the ministries of health and interior.

Sources disclosed the athlete is a member of Al-Qadsiya team and he took part in the training camp during which he was required to undergo medical examinations that proved he is not infected with the virus. Sources said the athlete has been in Kuwait for quite some time and he participated in the training camp before the Ebola outbreak. However, he was banned from entering in line with the instructions of the Health Ministry. In the same context, reliable security sources admitted it is difficult to require all visitors to undergo medical tests; indicating that although the proposal is plausible, it might prompt other countries to impose the same rule on the citizens of Kuwait.

Commenting on the proposal, MPAbdullah Al-Maayouf said this is a good step because the visitors, who might have contagious diseases, will interact with other people; hence, the possibility of spreading the virus. He called on the Ministry of Health to approve the proposal and implement it as soon as possible. MP Khalil Al-Saleh expressed support for the proposal in order to protect the citizens and residents, stating that he had earlier presented a proposal to require visitors to obtain health insurance as some of them enter the country to undergo treatment here. He praised Health Ministry Undersecretary Dr Khalid Al- Sahalawi for disclosing that about 2,000 laborers, who entered the country, even if they are infected with AIDS and phthisis. He warned against not requiring visitors to undergo medical examination as it might lead to spread of diseases. Furthermore, MP Hamdan Al- Azmi hailed the proposal and he wants the Ministry of Health to shoulder the responsibility of examining the expatriate laborers; in addition to the formation of a specialized medical team to carry out this task. He also expressed appreciation

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