Indian embassy halts registration for repatriation due to backlog

The Embassy of India has temporarily halted online registration for Indian nationals in Kuwait seeking repatriation to India. The embassy will resume the process after initial registrations have been accommodated, an advisory issued by the embassy said. Around 70,000 people have already registered with the embassy, while only 879 people have been repatriated from Kuwait in the first phase of India’s ‘Vande Bharat Mission’, the massive evacuation of Indians stranded abroad.

“However, requests of medical emergency, pregnancy and those related to death may continue to be sent by email to the embassy only at for necessary examination/processing,” the advisory added, saying that the Embassy of India in Kuwait is the only designated authority to select and prioritize travel requests. The embassy is not responsible for unauthorized assurances accepted by intending travellers. Similarly, the embassy does not deal in any ticketing sale transactions, which have been delegated to Air India. Air India is the sole agency for booking/issuance/sale of tickets for all these repatriation flights, the advisory added.

Meanwhile, the second phase of the repatriation began yesterday, intended to take home about 32,000 people, more than double the figure in the first phase. However, only three flights are scheduled in this phase from Kuwait – to Kannur (May 19), Trivandrum (May 20) and Hyderabad (May 21). In the first phase of the mission, around 12,000 Indians had returned to India on 56 flights.

India has been under lockdown since March 25 following the outbreak of coronavirus, which has infected more than 80,000 people and killed more than 2,600 in India as of Friday. Meanwhile, the Indians who availed the Kuwait government amnesty and are currently sheltered in facilitation centers in Kuwait voiced their despair and anger over the delay in their repatriation to India due to the India government’s decision to keep the country’s airspace closed to foreign airlines.
“The Kuwait government is ready to provide us free passage to India on their flights. But our government is not ready to receive us,” said one of the workers over the phone, reflecting the simmering discontent among expats.

Meanwhile, Director-General of Kuwait Municipality Ahmad Al-Manfouhi announced an advisory to change the working hours of grocery stores during the total lockdown. “Grocery stores in investment areas are permitted to deliver foodstuff and other commodities to nearby residents from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm,” he said yesterday, noting that the night shift has been cancelled.
“All these stores and their staffers are required to abide by the regulations previously stipulated in advisories 810 and 811 (2020), otherwise they could face shutdown,” Manfouhi cautioned. The advisories, released last Monday, stipulate that the grocery stores can neither use vehicles for home delivery nor receive shoppers. The municipality highlighted the need of continued commitment to public health regulations, including wearing facemasks and gloves in an effort to halt the spread of coronavirus.

Kuwait Fire Service Directorate (KFSD) said Friday it has delivered over 30,000 prescription medications to citizens’ homes in 35 days. Lt Col Dr Fayez Al-Nassar, Director of KFSD Vocational Health and Safety, said specific teams intensified deliveries since the start of the full curfew. He added in a statement a plan was put in place in collaboration with the ministry of health to deliver prescribed medicine to citizens at their homes from different hospitals nationwide.

Since the start of the full curfew, he said, KFSD increased personnel to 450 and vehicles to 250 to cover all governorates. This aims at alleviating pressure on MoH staff as well as ensuring physical distancing. KFSD began home deliveries of medicines on March 29.

Kuwait Times 

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