The Philippine embassy in Kuwait has said that it is not aware of the list of health centers approved by Kuwait’s embassy in the Philippines.

A recent notification from Kuwait’s Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had stipulated that starting from Sunday, 8 March, citizens of 10 specified countries would have to produce a medical clearance certificate before being allowed to disembark in Kuwait. The DGCA had further clarified that the health certificates would have to be obtained from medical centers approved by Kuwait’s embassy in the respective countries.

However, the deputy consul at the Philippine embassy in Kuwait said that though the embassy had received information about the DGCA decision, it still had no word from Kuwait’s embassy in Manila with regard to the list of approved medical centers. He noted that the embassy had forwarded a copy of the DGCA notification to the foreign ministry in the Philippines with the aim of seeking clarification from the Kuwait embassy there, but as yet they had not received a reply. 

The deputy consul added that the need to obtain a health clearance certificate prior to departing the Philippines would further delay the deployment of domestic helpers who were recruited and approved to work in this country. The Philippine Employment Recruitment Agency had also raised several pertinent questions regarding the recent DGCA decision. 

In a related note, the deputy consul said that the embassy had contacted the management of Khiran Complex to know about the fate of hundreds of Filipinos employed there. This followed the recent decision by the Ministry of Health and other relevant authorities in Kuwait to convert these leisure facilities to quarantine centers for citizens infected with COVID-19.   

He explained that the Ministries of Health and Interior are responsible for these facilities and that they had responded to the embassy’s query, confirming that the facility was following internationally approved health protocols and procedures, and that there was no contact between the workers at the resorts and those infected with the virus.  

He added that the embassy was still awaiting response to a similar query sent to the Al-Joun Resort, which has also reportedly been turned into a quarantine center.  The Philippine Embassy has also requested full information from the concerned authorities in Kuwait with regard to the number of Filipino domestic workers who have accompanied their sponsors to the quarantine centers. The delay in response has been attributed to the increased workload at the concerned entities as they attempt to confront and combat the virus.

The deputy consul added that the Philippines and Kuwait are concerned about, and concentrating on, protecting their respective citizens from the virus and this could delay the scheduled meeting between the two sides. He further noted that all instructions to combat the virus, as well as all warnings issued by the Ministry of Health in Kuwait, are mentioned on the embassy’s website.

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