By MAWAHIB ABDALLATIF
Some 450 Sudanese who were stranded in Kuwait due to Covid-19 travel restrictions arrived on Tuesday at Khartoum International Airport on three flights.
Sudanese authorities first closed the country’s airspace to passenger traffic on April 16 as a measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The citizens then appealed to the Government of Sudan through various embassies to repatriate them.
An official at Khartoum Airport told The EastAfrican that all those repatriated underwent stringent health checks in Kuwait before they were authorised to travel.
In a statement, Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that all the health and safety procedures were carried out with full cooperation between the Kuwaiti authorities and Sudanese embassy.
The first evacuation flight of Sudanese citizens was on June 14, 2020 from Jordan via the Royal Jordanian Airlines.
Sudanese stranded abroad in various countries have been staging vigils in front of their embassies to urge authorities to expedite their return home.
Sudan on Sunday extended the closure of airports for two weeks until June 28. This, however, exempts air freight of goods and humanitarian aid, flights for companies operating in oil fields, and those evacuating foreign nationals.
Sudan has recorded 7,435 Covid-19 cases and 468 deaths, the Ministry of Health said on Monday.