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E-platform facilitates domestic workers’ return to Kuwait from ‘high-risk’ nations

KUWAIT: ‘BelSalamah’ is an electronic platform aims to facilitate return of domestic workers from the ‘high-risk’ countries, with which travel is banned, to Kuwait, in line with specific procedures and mechanisms that take into account the required health measures. The project prepared by the National Aviation Services (NAS), which operates at Kuwait International Airport, aims to decrease the cost of return that the sponsor will pay, in addition to relocating the 14-day quarantine to be in Kuwait instead of a transit country.

The program return costs KD 270 ($980) for every worker registered under Article 20 of the residency law, which applies to domestic helpers. The cost includes a 14-day quarantine, according to health requirements, meals, security and three PCR tests. The tickets are not included in the return program, as they are different depending on destination.

Additional flights of the return of passengers will be organized, in cooperation of Kuwait Airways, Al-Jazeera Airways and the other companies working at Kuwait International Airport, in line with the common agreements and the standard rates approved by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

NAS’ Director General Mansour Al-Khozaym said in an interview that all domestic workers must hold a document from a laboratory accredited by their countries showing they tested negative, adding that it will appear through the ‘BelSalamah.com’ platform to help them travel at the time and the date specified via the platform. When arriving in Kuwait, the passengers will be subjected to another PCR test, he added. He noted that if the tests’ results are negative, the workers will be transferred directly to the designated places for a 14-day quarantine, in line with the health requirements.

By the end of the 14-day quarantine, the workers will undergo a third PCR test, and can go with their sponsors’ homes if the results are negative, he noted. Those who have positive results, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health (MoH) will be responsible for transferring them to another quarantine facilities, he stated. The platform seeks to help the sponsor bring back the worker to Kuwait rapidly and safely, and at a less price, Khozaym stressed.

Through this platform, other travelers, airport employees and citizens can be protected, he said, adding that it also helps meet travel requirements during the (COVID-19) pandemic while reducing waiting times and travel restrictions. He expected the return of thousands of domestic workers to Kuwait, stressing the importance of operating the airport, in line with the health standards in collaboration with the State’s institutions to ensure a safe return.

The NAS developed the system to ensure the validity and reliability of the PCR certificate, and its compatibility with the laboratory issued it and the health protocols set by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health, he made clear. Khozaym noted that the company would follow up the passengers in the country of departure, guide them to the laboratories close to them, and help them book flights.

After the passenger’s arrival, the company will transfer them to the place of quarantine, he said, and the third stage is related to the follow-up of the worker inside the quarantine until they are handed over to the sponsor. He stressed that that the sponsor can receive the worker after being fully assured of their safety.

Khozaym affirmed that the company offers full facilitations for workers coming to Kuwait that include logistical matters, security, daily meals and all their needs. This will be through 30 hotels and hotel apartments that the company has booked to provide those services. The ‘BelSalamah’ platform was proposed on December 7, with the aim of registering data of domestic worker’s return, and technical and financial matters pertaining to the quarantine and services since the worker’s arrival at the airport until their transfer to the places of the quarantine. – KUNA

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