253 distressed OFWs from Kuwait now home

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 26) — The government has repatriated 253 overseas Filipino workers from Kuwait as the Gulf state shuts its international airport to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The Department of Foreign Affairs in a statement announced the return of the Filipino workers Thursday morning.

Since the Kuwait International Airport is closed, the Philippine Embassy arranged a humanitarian flight for the distressed Filipinos from Talha Deportation Center, the Public Authority for Manpower Expatriate Shelter, and the Embassy shelter.

"All 253 Filipinos underwent the appropriate medical protocols and check-up at the airport as required by the DOH Bureau of Quarantine. The repatriates were reminded further to observe strict home quarantine for 14 days," the DFA said.

It added that the evacuees were provided with transportation to their hometowns in Luzon while those who could not go home yet due to the lockdown imposed in some areas were provided with temporary shelter.

Kuwait has recorded 195 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 152 of them are currently under treatment.

Meanwhile, the Philippines has 636 COVID-19 cases. Of this number, 35 have died while 26 have recovered.

President Rodrigo Duterte has placed Luzon under enhanced community quarantine, restricting domestic travel. Several local government units outside Luzon have also shut their borders, but Duterte has made it clear returning Filipinos should be allowed to enter the country.