More than 234 Indians who were stranded in Kuwait due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have departed to India, and are due to arrive at Indore airport in three special flights from Kuwait today.
These Indians were detained in deportation centres here, and they heaved a sigh of relief as the Kuwait government flew them home free of charge on two Kuwait Airways flights. More than 10,000 Indians who obtained amnesty as part of the government program are still waiting to return home.
According to sources, the repatriation of workers who obtained amnesty will begin from next week, as the Indian government has opened its airspace enabling flights from Kuwait to land in its airports.
“Two Kuwait Airways flights carrying 117 people each took off to Indore, Madhya Pradesh state, today. Though they are from 20 different Indian states, they will be accommodated in a quarantine center in Indore now and will be moved to their respective home states once they complete their quarantine period,” he said.
The expats were detained at the centres here for an unspecified period of time due to various reasons, and they appeared excited.
Now, the repatriation of people who are held in amnesty shelters will begin soon. The embassy is doing state-wise segregation of people, so that Kuwait Airways can schedule the destination airports accordingly.
The amnesty program for people without residency permits in Kuwait was open from 1st to 30th April 2020, which allowed violators to leave the country without having to pay fines.
As part of this program, the government announced its plans to forgo all residency-related penalties of amnesty-seekers and offered 30 percent waiver on all other debts or fines incurred by them.
Official estimates say that as of 28th Feb 2020, there were 24,000 illegal Indian residents in Kuwait.