On the evening of Friday, June 5th, 300 doctors and nurses from the Republic of Cuba arrived in Kuwait to assist in the battle against COVID-19. This large team of Cuban healthcare professionals will be working in intensive care for the next six months to deal with coronavirus cases.
The arrival of the Cuban team
A Kuwait Times Instagram post (embedded below) shows the large team emerging from a Kuwait Airways Boeing 777 via stairs. Sporting white medical coats and wearing face masks, the Arab Times reports that the team was transferred from the airport via private buses to be tested for the virus.
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300 Cuban doctors and nurses have arrived in Kuwait in support of the Ministry of Health. The Cuban team will work in intensive care units to help with the medical treatment of Covid 19 patients. #KuwaitTimes #Kuwait #Kuwaitnews #Kuwaitonlockdown #coronavirus #pandemic #curfew
According to The Assistant Undersecretary for Technical Affairs of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Mutairi, this team has visited many countries before.
For this occasion, Kuwait has signed a memorandum of understanding with the team to benefit from its experiences. Al-Mutairi explains that the team will be present for a period of six months in the country, having been given special visas for their work.
Since the airline and other media sources hadn’t disclosed flight details, it took some digging to find the flight. It appears that this was indeed a direct service from Havana, Cuba, to Kuwait – likely a historic first for the airline.
The flight was operating as KU1630 and departed Havana just after midnight on June 5th. With a total flight time of nearly 13 and a half hours, the aircraft touched down in Kuwait just after 21:00 the same day. The aircraft involved was a Boeing 777-300ER.
The latest in abnormal flights
Kuwait Airways has been flying several ‘abnormal’ flights in recent months. During ‘normal times,’ the airline focuses its attention on various European cities, destinations across the Indian sub-continent, and of course, the Middle East.
And while it normally doesn’t have service to West Africa (or much of Sub-Saharan Africa at all), Kuwait Airways arranged a special flight on May 23rd and transported 334 passengers to the region as part of an effort to repatriate citizens of several West African nations.
The journey was split into three flights, flying from Kuwait to Accra (Ghana), Accra to Lome (Togo), and finally, a return flight from Lome to Kuwait.
As a country, Kuwait remains closed to normally-scheduled commercial passenger flights. As a result, specially-arranged repatriation flights the bulk of activity at the airport now.
Are you as surprised as we are to read about Cuban healthcare workers flying to Kuwait? Let us know your thoughts and reactions by leaving a comment.
Simple Flying has contacted Kuwait Airways for additional information. However, the airline had not responded before publication.