Barring India and 6 other countries, Kuwait lifts international travel ban

Dubai: Kuwait has lifted the international travel ban imposed to check the spread of the coronavirus from August 1, with exceptions to seven countries including India, the Kuwait Times reported on Thursday.

"Citizens and residents of the country are allowed to travel to and from Kuwait, except for residents coming from the following countries: Bangladesh, Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Iran and Nepal," the Centre for Government Communication, CGC, said in a tweet.

As per the new order, Indian citizens will not be allowed to enter the country or exit it. However, people can travel by repatriation flights.

The people from other countries can travel to and from Kuwait, if they secure health certificate from approved COVID-19 testing centres. Kuwait Health Ministry has also published a list of centres approved by the government to obtain the PCR certificate.

Kuwait suspended all international flights to and from the country in early March to curb the spread of coronavirus, with the exception of repatriation flights.

As of July 29, Kuwait has confirmed 65,903 coronavirus cases, 56,467 recoveries and 444 deaths.

Discussions on with Kuwait on bilateral air bubble: Centre

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Ministry on Wednesday said that the government is in talks with Kuwait government to establish a bilateral air bubble.

Earlier this month, India had formed bilateral air bubbles with countries such as the UAE, the US, Germany and France. Under the pact whereby an air bubble is established between two countries, the airlines of both are allowed to operate special international charter flights during certain restrictions.

Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in India since March 23 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Significant progress has been made on aviation access between India and Kuwait, the ministry said in a tweet.

"Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation and President of Kuwait's Directorate General of Civil Aviation had useful & productive discussions on several issues related with bilateral access between our two countries which will be resolved soon," the ministry said.

No international flights

Since May 6, international charter flights have been operated by Air India under the Vande Bharat Mission to help stranded people reach their destinations. Private carriers have also operated a certain number of flights under this mission.

Kempegowda Airport
Indian nationals arrive at Kempegowda Airport by a special Air India flight from Frankfurt (Germany) amid COVID-19 pandemic, in Bengaluru, Saturday, May 30, 2020. Indian citizens are being brought back to the country under the repatriation exercise 'Vande Bharat'. (PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak)

The aviation sector has been significantly impacted due to the travel restrictions imposed in India and other countries in view of the coronavirus pandemic. All airlines in India have taken cost-cutting measures such as pay cuts, leave-without-pay and firings of employees in order to conserve cash.

India resumed domestic passenger flights from May 25 after a gap of two months due to the coronavirus pandemic. The airlines have been allowed to operate only a maximum of 45 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights.

However, occupancy rate in Indian domestic flights has been around just 50-60 per cent since May 25.

List of hospitals in Kerala issuing PCR test certificates

National Institute of Virology Field Unit, Alappuzha, Govt. Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Medical College, Kozhikode, Medical College, Thrissur, Rajeev Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Thiruvananthapuram, Sree Chitra Thirunal Institute of Medical Sciences, Thiruvananthapuram, State Public Health Laboratory, Thiruvananthapuram, Inter University Kottayam, Malabar Cancer Center, Thalassery, Central University, Periya (Kasargod),Govt. Medical College, Ernakulam, Medical College Manjeri, Medical College Kottayam, Medical College Kannur, IISER Thiruvananthapuram, Govt. Medical College, Palakkad, Govt. TD Medical College, Alappuzha, Regional Public Health Laboratory, Pathanamthitta, Govt. Medical College, Kollam, District Public Health Laboratory, Wayanad, District TB Center, Palakkad, RCC Thiruvananthapuram, District TB Center Kottayam, DDRC Diagnostic Panampally Nagar Ernakulam, MIMS Lab Service Govindapuram Kozhikode, Lab Services of Amrita Medical Sciences Kochi, Dane Diagnostic Palakkad, Medvision Scan and Diagnostic Kochi, MVR Cancer Center Kozhikode, Asa Diagnostic Center Puthiyara Kozhikode, Newburgh Diagnostic Ernakulam, Evitis Super Specialty Hospital Nemmara, Palakkad, Jubilee Mission Medical College Thrissur, Ashwini Diagnostic Kozhikode, Maithra Hospital Kozhikode, Velluvanad Hospital Complex Ottapalam, EI Lab Metropolis Kochi, Lizzy Medical Institute Microbiology Department Kaloor Kochi, Baby Memorial Hospital Kozhikode, EMS Co-operative Hospital Perinthalmanna, Arcel Diagnostic and Research Center Arayadathupalam Kozhikode, Aster Medicity Pathology - Lab Medicine Department Kochi, NIMS Medicity Aralummoodu Thiruvananthapuram, Rajagiri Hospital Chunangamveli Aluva, S Micro Health Lab Kozhikode, Kerala Institute of Medical Sciences Microbiology Department Anayara Thiruvananthapuram, Believers Church Medical College, Thiruvalla, Al Salamah Diagnostic Center, Tirur, PRS Hospital, Killipalam, Thiruvananthapuram

A health worker arranges tubes containing swab samples in a tray for COVID-19 test at a medical camp, Kasimedu fish market, inChennai, Saturday. Photo: PTI

Operational laboratories reporting to ICMR

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