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Kuwaitis told to leave European countries over Omicron

Published on January 03, 2022

Kuwait has urged its citizens to leave several European countries including Britain, France and Germany because of a surge in cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

In a series of statements overnight Sunday, the oil-rich Gulf state also warned Kuwaitis, often big spenders abroad, to avoid travelling to the countries.

The foreign ministry said they should “delay their trips” generally and, in particular, to France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy.

It said its citizens should leave those countries “considering the significant and unprecedented rise in the number of new cases” of Covid-19.

Europe has in the past few months again become the pandemic’s epicentre and is battling an upsurge of cases spurred on by the highly transmissible Omicron strain.

The countries with the highest ratio of infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the world were all in Europe, according to an AFP tally on Saturday.

The count showed more than 4.9 million infections reported in Europe over the seven days to January 1.

France alone recorded more than one million new cases during that one-week period.

Kuwait’s foreign ministry also said on Monday that the country’s citizens should leave Morocco due to concerns over Covid-19.

The number of recorded cases in Kuwait remains relatively low.

But it jumped 20-fold in a month to reach around 600 cases on Sunday in the country of more than four million people.

Elsewhere in the Gulf, cases have also surged.

In the United Arab Emirates, infections have risen almost 40-fold since the beginning of December.

Saudi Arabia announced 1,746 new cases on Monday, the most in six months and a leap of more than 700 from just a day earlier.

The kingdom has reimposed social distancing measures at the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca.

Qatar’s daily cases rose to 1,077, the highest since June.