Kuwait to deport expats with infectious diseases

Regulation viewed as yet another anti-foreigner attack

Other GCC countries also require expats to be tested for communicable diseases before being granted a working visa.

Other GCC countries also require expats to be tested for communicable diseases before being granted a working visa.

Kuwaiti residents have criticised reports that expatriates with infectious diseases will be automatically deported from the Gulf state in another decision viewed as anti-foreigner.

The Ministry of Health recently announced it would deport expats that contract infectious diseases in a bid to avoid spreading the virus.

It comes five months after Minister of Social Affairs and Labour Thekra Al Rasheedi revealed Kuwait would cut expat numbers by 100,000 each year over the next decade in order to reduce the total number from about 2.6m – two-thirds of the total population - to 1.6m. 

Expatriates that commit repeat traffic offences also are being deported in a targeted crackdown.

However, on Thursday Kuwait Times reported Minister of Health Sheikh Mohammad Al Abdullah Al Sabah said some infected expatriates would not be immediately deported but given up to 12 months to leave the country, depending on the seriousness of their condition.

Those with leprosy and HIV would be automatically deported.

“At first, when you have ... a communicable disease, you will not be allowed to enter Kuwait,” Al Sabah was quoted as saying by Kuwait Times.

“If you are not a threat to the people around you, for example, TB you will be given at least one year on humanitarian grounds, since you have a family here and your children are studying.

"They’ll be given time to finish school before being sent out of the country.

“If in case the situation is quite serious, like hepatitis, they’ll be given six months and will be treated here before eventually being sent back.”

Al Sabah said Kuwait was working towards ensuring all expatriates had the necessary vaccines.

The minister ordered that children under the age of 15 be tested for an infectious disease before being issued a visa.

Other GCC countries also require expats to be tested for communicable diseases before being granted a working visa.

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Posted by: Fatima

I would love to see what Kuwaitis would do if all the expats in the country left. Who would be left to do everything from taking care of their children, building their homes and establishing the strength of their economy? They're in for a rude awakening.

Posted by: Mario

I have gas. I'm not sure its infectious, but it sure is smelly. Am I at risk of being deported?

Posted by: zab

Kuwaitis have gone nuts. All expatriates shall leave

Posted by: Kaptain Saif

Don't Kuwaitis fall ill..?? Are they totally and completely immune species from the 4th sky..?

Posted by: DNS

What if the expat is from countries where there are fewer medical facilities? or is having turmoil or any sort? I will not name any country here, but you can get the jist of what I'm saying.

Posted by: JSS

@RAH just for your information: this tourist visa ban for the USA you're referring to, has been recently lifted by Obama, but I get your point.
On the other hand an expat, who has lived and contributed to a society for years to deport, when he falls ill with an infectious disease, isn't exactly what I call humanitarian or fair. It is also not a very efficient way to deal with infectious disease in a country, because it causes people to think, that they are "safe".
Take most European countries: they treat people with infectious disease mostly for free wherever they are from. They do not get deported, yet the occurrence of infectious disease is not higher than in other parts of the world, it is actually lower. Dealing openly with the issue is the best way to be protected.

Posted by: RAH

If a Kuwaiti falls ill the constitution bans the government from deporting him. Deports him where exactly?

Besides why add fuel to the fire? When an expat falls ill, its only fair to ask him to return back to his home country. It has nothing to do with Kuwaitis falling ill or not. It falls down as to home country and the right to abode in another with a communicable disease.

For example: the USA does not issue a tourist visa to you if they knowingly know you have the HIV virus. Fair enough. I wont sit here and type "WHAT?? And Americans are immune and are species from the 4th sky"?? Whatever that means.

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