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Recoveries outpace infections in daily COVID count – Concern over illegals

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KUWAIT CITY, April 25: Ministry of Health is striving to vaccinate citizens and expatriates, and spares no effort in encouraging the public to register for vaccination; the reality is that about 190,000 expatriates are outside the ministry’s calculation and platform as they have violated the Residency Law and cannot register for vaccination; thereby, marring efforts of the ministry which has been racing against time to achieve community immunity, reports Al-Rai daily quoting highly reliable sources from the security sector.

Sources pointed out the decision of Interior Minister Sheikh Thamer Al-Ali to extend the deadline for expatriates who violated the Residency Law to rectify their status for another month — until May 15 — “comes from a humanitarian, health and security standpoint due to the repercussions of the coronavirus crisis; such as the closure of airports in many countries and high ticket prices. This could also be a way for these expatriates to get vaccinated once their status is legalized or they could opt to leave the country.”

Sources explained “the recent increase in corona cases among expatriates is alarming, taking into consideration that those who violated the Residency Law cannot be vaccinated because their residency permits are expired; hence, their inability to register on the Ministry of Health website. Under such circumstances, these expatriates could be a threat to the security and health of the entire community.” Sources warned the citizens and expatriates against “harboring expatriates who violated the Residency Law, especially the domestic workers, to employ them in homes as this poses a threat to the health of families and their children.” Sources then urged all expatriates who violated the Residency Law to take advantage of the extended deadline to visit the Residency Affairs Department in order to rectify their status.

The recent decision to suspend direct flights to and from India due to the remarkable increase in the number of corona cases there might lead to the cancellation of thousands of visas for domestic workers at a time many Kuwaitis are complaining about the delayed arrival of their household workers, reports Al-Qabas daily. Chairman of Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Offices (KUDLO) Khaled Al-Dakhnan told the daily that there will be discussions with officials in charge of the ‘Besalama’ platform about the idea of presenting a recommendation to hire domestic workers from India in accordance with the regulations on ensuring health safety and combating the epidemic. Although the union welcomes the decision to stop direct flights to and from India as part of efforts to combat the epidemic, it confirmed in a press statement that the decision would result in the cancellation of certain steps; thereby, increasing the burdens of citizens who are waiting for the arrival of domestic workers.

Al-Dakhnan revealed: “We previously contacted the Ministry of Interior to request for extension of the validity of visas from three to six months considering the global conditions brought about by the pandemic. We called the ministry and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to exclude domestic workers from the decision.”

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