Coronavirus: The fall of the Gulf’s own Meryl Streep who called for a ban on expats

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Dozens took to social media platforms on Wednesday to criticize Kuwaiti actress Hayat al-Fahad after she called for the expulsion of all expatriates to make room for citizens who might get infected with coronavirus on national television.

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The 71-year-old actress, who is known across the region for starring in TV dramas, said migrants in the country should leave because there will be “no hospitals” for Kuwaitis who may get the virus.

“Why, if their countries do not want them, should we deal with them? Aren’t people supposed to leave during crises?” she said.

One Twitter user expressed anger over the actress’ comments, saying in Arabic: “she spent her life acting but she could not act like a human.”

“The arts have not increased her humanity. Karma is a lesson,” another user added in Arabic.

Kuwait, where 70% of the population comprises of non-citizens, has reported 317 confirmed cases of coronavirus in both Kuwaitis and expatriates.

“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,” al-Fahad added.

The actress’ comments came after Kuwaiti parliamentarian Safa al-Hashem, whose anti-migrant stance has been a topic of controversy in the country since she was elected, called for the government to send expatriates to their home countries.

Kuwaiti designer Najeeba Hayat, who is currently quarantined in Jaber Hospital after she was infected with coronavirus, also took to Instagram to express her outrage at the comments made by both women.

“In my ward these past 18 days, all the doctors, all the nurses, and all the cleaners are not Kuwaiti, but are expatriate workers,” Hayat said.

Kuwait has imposed strict measures to curb the coronavirus outbreak, which include implementing an 11-hour nationwide curfew and halting all international flights.

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