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Kuwait actress triggers uproar with call for expat ban over coronavirus

AFP  |  Kuwait City 

A famous Kuwaiti actress has sparked a furore by calling for expatriates to be expelled from the oil-rich nation so that locals can be sure of having a hospital bed if they fall ill with coronavirus.

Hayat al-Fahad, 71, who is known for playing a range of roles in Arabic dramas, told a local television station that foreigners in the country should be kicked out during the health crisis. "We are fed up. If we get sick, there are no hospitals (for us)," she said during a telephone interview on Tuesday.

"Why, if their countries do not want them, should we deal with them? Aren't people supposed to leave during crises? "We should send them out... put them in the desert. I am not against humanity, but we have reached a stage where we're fed up." Many people online criticised the actress' comments, with one Twitter user saying it was "so unacceptable".

"How many Kuwaitis are outside Kuwait at the moment? Should everyone also apply her logic when it comes to them?" another person posted.

Kuwait has recorded some 317 cases of the COVID-19 disease so far, with no deaths, and there are no accounts of its medical system being overstretched.

It has adopted the strictest measures in the Gulf to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus by largely locking down the country. Kuwait has also announced that it will treat COVID-19 patients -- including non-Kuwaitis, who account for nearly 70 percent of the population -- for free.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Wed, April 01 2020. 20:32 IST
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