KUWAIT: This May 5, 2020 file photo shows long lines of Egyptian nationals traveling back to their home country after Kuwait opened the door for expatriates wishing to leave to their home countries for good during the aviation closure period. – Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: A recent report about manpower in the third quarter of 2020 shows around 83,574 expats left the country for good during the period from September until December 2020, a local newspaper reported yesterday. The number of expats in the workforce has now dropped to 1.5 million workers, Al-Qabas Arabic daily wrote, adding that these figures serve as proof that Kuwait’s efforts to replace and reduce the number of expat workers have seen some success “with deep-rooted changes in the population structure.”

The report said work is ongoing to achieve more changes in the population structure and increase the numbers of workers terminated from government entities. The report showed that in three months, 2,144 contracts of expats in the government sector were terminated, while health and education ministries retain the highest number of expats, followed by Kuwait Airways, Kuwait Flour Mills and Bakeries Company and Kuwait Public Transport Company.

Following these latest developments, expat workers do not make up more than 29 percent of the total workforce registered in the government sector with 95,173 employees, 65 percent of whom are in the education and health ministries as teachers and medics, respectively. As for total expat workers in the country, their number has dropped.

Meanwhile, the report pointed to an increase in the number of Kuwaitis in all work sectors by 4,248 employees, taking the total until the end of September to 400,909 Kuwaiti workers. The domestic help sector saw a drop in female domestic workers in the past three months by 7,385 persons, while 382 male domestic helpers entered this sector.

Quarantine period
In other news, health authorities are contemplating reducing the duration of home quarantine for arrivals to Kuwait to one week if it is proven the passenger is not infected with COVID-19, Al-Qabas Arabic daily reported yesterday quoting an informed source. The reduction is subject to having airlines bear the cost of the PCR test, the anonymous source added.

The source said a Cabinet decision stipulated the passenger should undergo two PCR tests – the first before traveling to Kuwait, and the second during home quarantine, without deciding which day the test will be carried out.

The source said the preliminary view of the health authorities is to reduce home quarantine to one week because the passenger will undergo three PCR tests in case airlines bear the cost. The preliminary view is in case the PCR test is carried out on the seventh day after arrival with a negative result, the seven days of quarantine will be sufficient.