Coronavirus precaution: 611 expatriates return to their home countries from Kuwait

About 611 expatriates and Gulf nationals left Kuwait for their home countries while 306 Kuwaiti citizens were repatriated as a precaution to the spread of coronavirus. (KUNA)
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Updated 26 March 2020

Coronavirus precaution: 611 expatriates return to their home countries from Kuwait

DUBAI: About 611 expatriates and Gulf nationals left for their home countries while 306 Kuwaiti citizens were repatriated as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus, the Kuwait Interior Ministry said.

Three planes carrying 306 Kuwaiti nationals coming from Lebanon, Egypt and Bahrain – those countries have reported coronavirus cases – arrived at Kuwait International Airport, part of phase one of repatriation measures that will run until March 29.

The ministry said 195 Kuwaitis arrived from Egypt, 74 from Lebanon and 37 were from Bahrain.

The repatriated citizens were tested for coronavirus and were subsequently quarantined at the resorts of Al-Joan and Seashell and would remain at the secured locations to ensure they have not contracted the virus.

The ministry also said that the expatriates – 342 Egyptians, 254 Filipinos and 15 Bahrainis – completed preventive measures before they were allowed to travel.


Iraq’s foreign minister makes first visit to Iran

Updated 11 min 49 sec ago

Iraq’s foreign minister makes first visit to Iran

  • Iran sees neighboring Iraq as a possible route to bypass US sanctions that President Donald Trump re-imposed in 2018

TEHRAN: Iraq’s foreign minister arrived Saturday in Tehran for bilateral talks with senior Iranian officials, according to the state-run news agency.
IRNA reported that Fuad Hussein planned to meet his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif and President Hassan Rouhani, in what marked his first visit to the Iranian capital.
Zarif visited Baghdad in mid-July, when he met with Hussein and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi. It was Zarif’s first visit to Iraq since a US airstrike in January killed a top Iranian general, Qassim Soleimani, outside Baghdad’s international airport. The strike catapulted Iraq to the brink of a US-Iran proxy war that could have destabilized the Middle East.
After Zarif’s trip, the Iraqi premier visited Iran in July.
The report did not elaborate on the main reasons behind the top Iraqi diplomat’s two-day trip to Tehran.
Iran sees neighboring Iraq as a possible route to bypass US sanctions that President Donald Trump re-imposed in 2018 after pulling the US out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.
Last year, Iran’s exports to Iraq amounted to nearly $9 billion, the official IRNA news agency reported on Tuesday. It said the two nations will discuss increasing the amount to $20 billion.
Before the current global pandemic, some 5 million Iranian pilgrims annually brought in nearly $5 billion visiting Iraq’s Shiite holy sites.
Iran has seen the worst outbreak in the region, with more than 443,000 thousand confirmed cases and at least 25,300 deaths.
A news website affiliated with Iranian state TV, yjc.ir, reported that Iran canceled all its flights to Iraqi cities until the religious holiday of Arbaeen, due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. The holiday marks the end of the forty days of mourning that follow annually on the death anniversary of the seventh-century Muslim leader Hussein, who was killed at the Battle of Karbala during the tumultuous first century of Islam’s history.
Iran fought an eight-year war with Iraq that killed nearly 1 million people on both sides, after former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded in the early 1980s.