Bahrain Cancels Flights of Citizens Stranded in Iran, Welcomes Travellers from Around the World

2020-03-25 - 12:22 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): What is this extreme disregard for Bahraini citizens stranded in Iran's Mashhad? What is this absurd and irresponsible play with people's emotions and feelings? For the third consecutive time, Bahraini officials have announced a planned flight for a second batch of stranded visitors, but canceled it at the last minute.

On Monday (March 23, 2020), a flight scheduled to leave the city of Mashhad to Bahrain International Airport, carrying a number of citizens who have been trapped in Iran for more than a month, was cancelled. The trip was cancelled after these Bahrainis had spent long and exhausting hours at Mashhad airport waiting for their flight to take off. The Bahraini Ministry of Health blamed the contracting company and said that the cancellation was due to logistical reasons that were not mentioned, while dozens of citizens were returned from the airport, despite the completion of their travel procedures, to a hotel.

The following day, the cancelled flight was replaced by another flight announced Tuesday evening, March 24. Bahrainis were waiting for the arrival of the second batch, but were surprised again by the cancellation of flight (GAV3332), which was scheduled to evacuate citizens from the Iranian city of Mashhad on Ukraine Airlines. So far, no official statement has been issued about the reason behind the cancellation, that is if the trip was even real.

Is Bahrain a country that knows what it wants or a divided government that has no clue what it needs to do? Are the Bahrainis trapped in Iran citizens, for whom the government is obliged to assume full responsibility, with everything they are being exposed to amid this pandemic, or are they considered sheep that no one cares for?

Since March 11, following the arrival of the first batch of 165 Bahrainis out of 1,300, Bahraini citizens have been optimistic that the countdown has begun to evacuate those trapped in Mashhad and finally let out a sigh of relief, but this feeling lasted for a few hours only when the scheduled plan set for the evacuation was changed. The government only commented by saying: The evacuation will be carried out according to the capacity of examination, quarantine, isolation and treatment.

There have been 5 deaths among Bahrainis stranded in Mashhad, and the capacity of screening, quarantine, isolation and treatment remains unclear. Over a month has passed and the authorities have done nothing regarding the evacuation of more than a thousand remaining Bahraini citizens still stuck in Iran. Air traffic to Bahrain airport has not stopped from all countries around the world, and hundreds of people from different countries arrive in Bahrain everyday and are held in a place dedicated for quarantine. The Ministry of Health is providing accomodation for foreign and Asian nationals in hotels for 14 days, yet is oddly unable to provide a suitable place for a second batch of Bahrainis stranded in Mashhad.

It seems that Bahrain's capacity for screening, isolation, quarantine and treatment can contain everyone coming from countries all over the world, except Bahrainis trapped in Iran.

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