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Kuwait airport receives first batch of Kuwaiti evacuees from Iran

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KUWAIT, Feb 22 (KUNA) — The General Directorate of Civil Aviation (GDCA) announced the arrival of the first flight of Kuwaiti Airways carrying nationals stranded in Iran after suspending all flights from and to the country due to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

In a press statement on Saturday, GDCA Director General Abdulaziz Al-Fawzan said that the flight landed in the Kuwait International Airport T3 at 18:00 local time with 130 passengers on board. This is one of five flights planned by the authority to evacuate Kuwaitis who are stranded in Iran following the suspension of flights.

Meanwhile, the Kuwait Airways, the national carrier, said it has launched special flights to evacuate 700 nationals from the Iranian city of Mashhad.

It pointed out the evacuation is carried out in coordination with the ministries of health, interior and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. On Friday, the DGCA decided to suspend all flights to and from Iran upon recommendations from the Ministry of Health.

The authority said that all expats who visited Iran over the past two weeks will not be allowed to enter the country, even if they have valid visas. Kuwaiti citizens, who visited Iran during the same period, will be put in quarantine at special health facilities, it noted.

The authority also called on all citizens to postpone travel to Iran, until further notice. On Thursday, the Kuwait Ports Authority (KPA) banned movement of passengers to and from Iran via land ports sine die after.

The Kuwaiti Ministry of Health has re-affirmed on Saturday that there were no cases of novel coronavirus (COVID19) infections in the country. Minister of Health Sheikh Dr. Basil Al-Sabah has announced that his ministry is monitoring closely the latest updates about new coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and has taken firm precautionary and preventive measures to counter the epidemic.

He advised people not to travel to Iran. Iran on Saturday reported one more death among 10 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of deaths in the Islamic Republic to five, the highest of any country outside the Far East. Since it emerged in December, the virus has killed 2,345 people in China, the epicenter of the epidemic, and 16 elsewhere in the world. Some 78,000 people have been infected, of which some 76,300 are in China.

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