Passengers, some of them wearing protective masks, following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), arrive at Luxor International Airport, Egypt March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
CAIRO – 30 March 2020: The fifth exceptional flight to bring back Egyptian nationals stranded in Kuwait over the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) worldwide left Kuwair on Monday carrying 350 Egyptians, Kuwaiti state news agency KUNA reported.
The 350 passengers included 14 people expelled for violating the residence law.
The flight came in coordination between the Kuwaiti authorities, the Egyptian embassy in Kuwait and the Egyptian flag carrier EgyptAir, to bring back nationals with humanitarian cases and those who entered the country with visitor visas.
The fourth flight was operated on Sunday, with 303 Egyptian residents on board. The number of Egyptian nationals who departed Kuwait in the recent evacuation flights has reached 1293 people.
"The Egyptian Foreign Ministry has earlier assigned the African country’s embassies to prepare lists of Egyptian citizens stuck abroad," Minister of Immigration Nabila Makram said.
In an interview with Ahmed Moussa on Sada Al-Balad, a private TV channel, Makram noted that many Egyptians residing abroad are willing to return, but the authorities prioritize those who left the country via visitor visas.
"The United States currently has the largest number of Egyptian nationals stuck abroad," Makram said, adding that over 1,000 citizens are there.
She noted that a flight will be operated to Washington soon to bring back the Egyptian nationals, while four flights will take off from the United Kingdom.