KUWAIT CITY: A famous Kuwaiti actress has sparked a furor by calling for expatriates to be expelled from the country so that locals can be sure of having a hospital bed if they fall ill with coronavirus.
Hayat Al-Fahad, 71, known for her roles and extensive career in Arabic dramas, told a local TV channel that foreigners residing in the country should be kicked out during the ongoing health crisis.
“We are fed up. If we get sick, there are no hospitals (for us),” she said during a telephone interview on Tuesday.
“Why, if their countries do not want them, should we deal with them? Aren’t people supposed to leave during crises?
“We should send them out... put them in the desert. I am not against humanity, but we have reached a stage where we’re fed up.”
Many people took to social media platforms to criticize the actress’ comments, with one Twitter user saying it was “so unacceptable.”
“How many Kuwaitis are outside Kuwait at the moment? Should everyone also apply her logic when it comes to them?” another person posted.
Another Twitter user said that whilst Saudi Arabia’s government was “spreading peace and assistance even for violators,” Al-Fahad is demanding that expats should leave Kuwait during the coronavirus pandemic.
The user was making a reference to King Salman’s latest directive to provide all coronavirus patients in Saudi Arabia, even those in violation of residency laws, with free treatment.
“You are chilling in your ‘luxurious’ house and crying about how foreigners should be kicked out while you and everyone knows they’re the one’s that build your country,” another user tweeted.
Another person tweeted that she prays that God would guide Al-Fahad and said that whilst she is a “beloved actress,” “it is hard to accept her insulting any human being.”
There have been 317 cases of the COVID-19 disease recorded in Kuwait so far, with no deaths. There have been no reports that the country's health system is under more strain due to the virus.
It has adopted some of the strictest measures in the Gulf to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus by largely locking down the country.
Kuwait has also announced that it will treat COVID-19 patients — including non-Kuwaitis — for free.