KUWAIT CITY, March 21: Expatriate workers in Kuwait lauded on Saturday the initiative of MP Majid Al-Mutairi to call on real estate owners in Kuwait to exempt tenants from paying the rent under the exceptional circumstance as the whole country goes on public holiday for two weeks to thwart the spread of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The news on Al-Mutairi’s appeal has gone viral among expatriate workers in Kuwait who expressed hope that real estate owners heed the lawmaker’s appeal for kindness in these trying times.
Majority of the expatriate workers have followed the government’s call to stay home for their safety since Kuwait declared a two-week public holiday on March 12, as concerned government agencies exert their efforts to contain the pandemic. “I would like to thank Kuwait for everything and for keeping all of us safe here. Actually, I haven’t paid my house rent till now, because this is my last money. I only have KD 100 now. What if my company doesn’t give us our salary? So I’m keeping my money now for food. I thank MP Majid Al-Mutairi for bringing this up. I hope our building owner will waive our March rent or till this health crisis is over,” stated Kristina
Santos, a Filipino national who works as a receptionist at a restaurant. She shares a flat with three other co-workers and pays KD 75 as her monthly share for the house rent. Some expatriate workers were forced to go on leave as companies struggle to make both ends to pay the workers their salaries.
“In our case, it’s no work, no pay, that’s what our sponsor told us. If we are exempt from paying our house rent, this will be a big help for us. Inshaallah, no rent for March,” stated Mahmoud Abdelwahab, an Egyptian national who works at a shisha cafe.
Meanwhile, others were informed by their companies that their salaries will be reduced due to the losses incurred as a result of the business shutdown. “I’m still thankful that I still have a job because some of my friends were laid off because their companies can’t afford to give them their salaries anymore since this Coronavirus crisis. We thank the Kuwaiti government for keeping us safe. I hope they will also help us with our house rent,” appealed Raj Kumar, an Indian national who works as a radio technician.
Netizens have shared on various social media sites the news on the appeal made by Al-Mutairi as they hope this will also reach the concerned government authorities and pave way for the exemption of the house rent of all expatriate workers till this COVID-19 pandemic is over.
Meanwhile, a Filipino woman tested positive for the coronavirus, the Philippine embassy in Kuwait confirmed on Thursday, according to the PNA.gov. ph. “The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait regrets to inform the Filipino community that a female domestic worker is the first confirmed Filipino case of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Kuwait,” it said in a statement.
The Filipina domestic worker reportedly had close contact with a person who traveled recently to the United Kingdom. The embassy said the patient is now in a “stable condition” and that the Philippine government continues to monitor her case.
Also, the embassy also reminded all Filipinos in Kuwait to stay at home, follow the instructions of Kuwaiti authorities, and stay healthy.
By Michelle Fe Santiago Arab Times Staff and Agencies