Kuwait deported 552 expatriates in the first seven months of this year after finding that they were suffering from serious illnesses, a senior health official said on Saturday.
Twenty-one of the deported workers tested HIV positive while 208 others were found to have hepatitis B in the advanced stage, 130 hepatitis C, 161 tuberculosis and 32 the parasitic disease filariosis, director of public health Rashid al-Owaish told Al-Qabas daily.
Owaish said the deported expatriates were among 73,000 foreign workers who underwent a series of obligatory medical tests to become eligible for residence visas.
Kuwait deports foreigners who are found to be HIV positive, or be suffering from hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis and filariosis.
Under Kuwaiti and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) rules, foreign workers arriving in the oil-rich region from Asia must undergo medical tests in their home country and repeat them on arrival.
Owaish said the GCC states operate more than 167 health centers in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Nepal and Sri Lanka to screen workers before they arrived in the region.
All members of the GCC -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- have large expatriate communities, and carry out similar health tests on new arrivals - KUWAIT CITY (AFP)
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