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Shut borders give sleepless nights to relatives of those stuck abroad

29 Mar 2020 By SHADDAD AL MUSALMY

Oman’s move to suspend many international flights to and from various countries to contain the spread of COVID-19 has left many families worried about their loved ones stuck abroad.

Sheikha Mohammed Haroub al Azri, a homemaker has been spending anxious days waiting for her husband Musa al Abadi to get back from Congo’s Kinshasa along with their five year old daughter. Before he could travel back, the international flights were cancelled.

“I am worried about my daughter. She is so young. If my husband was alone, he would have tried to use road transport to get to Tanzania where it would be easy for him to come back to Oman. In times like these, we all need our loved ones around us and so we urge the government to get back all Omanis who want to come back home.”

Muscat Daily spoke to Abadi who said he has tried all options. “I tried contacting the Oman embassy in Dar es Salaam but was told Senegal is the one handling issues of Omanis in Congo. I again tried contacting Senegal and was told to wait. It has now been four days but no response yet.”
“I have tried to find possible access routes into Tanzania but no luck. Only domestic flights are available in Congo. It is not easy handling a young child alone,” he added.

An elderly citizen, Obaid Muhammed al Naamani, is also stuck in Rwanda. His family is worried here in Oman because he is alone. “I have tried every possible means to bring my father back home. Transit flights are uncomfortable for him so we couldn’t get him through other routes. He is still in Kigali, Rwanda,” said Naamani’s daughter, Hasna Obeid Naamani, a bank employee in Muscat said.

According to official sources, Omani embassies and attachés abroad are working hard to facilitate the return of Omanis, including those studying overseas, through commercial and chartered flights.

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