116 nurses have arrived in Kuwait after being stranded in India since the beginning of the pandemic. Photo for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Getty Images

Kuwait City: 116 nurses have arrived in Kuwait after being stranded in India since the beginning of the pandemic.

A source within the Ministry of Health told Al Jardia, that the group of nurses are part of the 400 nurses that were granted permission to enter Kuwait by the ministry. While they were part of the first batch, more are to follow.


All of the arriving nurses, which landed on Friday, were required to conduct a swab test at the airport before being transferred to their residence for mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Various Ministries have non-Kuwaiti employees that are stuck abroad, unable to return due to the travel ban imposed on 34 countries, including India, Egypt, Philippines and Bangladesh.

Loss of manpower

The travel ban has affected many in Kuwait, from the private to public sector, as many are in need of the manpower.

Two weeks ago, the Ministry of Justice announced that it will be working to facilitate the return of 120 judges, advisors and prosecutors, as their return is imminent for the judicial season to start next month.

The Ministry of Education is also dealing with a shortage of staff, as 3,500 teachers are stuck abroad, unable to return. A few weeks ago, the Acting Undersecretary of Kuwait’s Ministry of Education, Faisal Al Maqsid, stated that the decision to return stranded teachers is at the discretion of the health authorities.

Expats stuck abroad

Residents have been stuck abroad since March 12, after Kuwait halted all commercial flights amidst growing fear of the spread of COVID-19.

Last month, the Ministry of Interior announced a three-phase plan for expatriates looking to return to Kuwait. The first phase will include medical professionals, judges, members of the public prosecution and teachers. The second stage will include those that have families residing in the country and those with a valid family residency permit (Article 22). Then the third and final stage will allow the remaining expats who want to return to the country.

In July, the Ministry of Interior stated that it will be reviewing 70,000 expired residencies held by residents who are stuck abroad since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.

According to a report by Al Rai, the residency permits of 1,000 expats are expiring daily as their sponsors fail to renew their permits while they are stuck abroad.