KUWAIT CITY, Dec 3: The last group of stranded Filipino staff at the Kuwait Ministry of Health (MoH) together with their dependents arrived in Kuwait on Monday on board a Kuwait Airways chartered flight from Manila organized by Al Tayer Travels in coordination with the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait. Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Mohd Noordin Pendosina Lomondot thanked Al Tayer Travels for taking the initiative to help the stranded Filipino MoH staff.
“We highly appreciate all the great efforts exerted by Al Tayer Travels Chairman Fahad Al Baker and his team. I flew with the second group last October 26 and we would like to extend our profound gratitude to them,” stated Lomondot. After obtaining all the needed travel clearance from concerned Kuwaiti authorities, the group composed of 17 MoH staff and eight dependents finally flew back to Kuwait. “Finally after being stranded for nine months in the Philippines, we are now back. We would like to thank the Philippine Embassy led by His Excellency Mohd Noordin Pendosina Lomondot and Vice Consul Adrian Baccay.
Special thanks also to Al Tayer Travels led by its Chairman Fahad Al Baker for his great commitment to help us as well as his dedicated team, Bobby, Ms. Marlyn, Ms Melanie and Ms. Maridel, our MOH coordinator,” stated Maggi Abayon, an X-ray Technician.
The Kuwait government earlier banned residents coming from 34 countries with high cases of COVID- 19 from flying directly to Kuwait but they can travel and stay in a country not in the ban list and stay there 14 days after which they can fly to Kuwait with the required PCR test. A few of the stranded Filipino MoH staff opted to fly via Dubai but majority waited for the travel clearance from the MoH.
“It was worth all the wait, words are not enough to express how grateful we are to all the people who helped us, from the Philippine Embassy and Al Tayer Travels,” stated Geoffrey Collamar, an X-ray technician. The group of stranded Filipino MoH staff mostly nurses had earlier sought the help of the Philippine Embassy in July.
According to them, the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait sent a letter to the MoH in July with the list of stranded MoH staff in the Philippines. The first group of 23 MOH staff flew via chartered flight organised by Al Tayer Travels in July and the second batch of 28 MoH staff last October. “It is our great pleasure to help all the stranded Filipino MoH staff.
Despite all the challenges, we managed to bring them back to Kuwait as we have promised earlier. stated Al Baker. Some of the MoH staff and kids who arrived had expired residence visas but were allowed entry per DGCA Circular No 2020/69. “We will continue to be of service to everyone as Kuwait opens the direct flights to domestic workers starting this month. We will be happy to accommodate all your travel needs,” stated Bobby Thomas, Al Tayer Travels Operations Manager.
By Michelle Fe Santiago Arab Times Staff