The Edition


187 undocumented workers repatriated from Maldives

Mariyam Malsa
04 July 2020, MVT 18:14
An earlier photograph of Bangladeshi nationals preparing to board their repatriation flight at Velana International Airport. PHOTO: MALDIVIAN
Mariyam Malsa
04 July 2020, MVT 18:14

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Saturday, revealed that 187 undocumented migrants from Bangladesh were repatriated to their home country.

The migrants were flown to Bangladeshi capital Dhaka via the national carrier, Maldivian.

With this development, the foreign ministry and the Ministry of Economic Development have facilitated the repatriation of a total of 3269 undocumented workers as part of the government's repatriation efforts amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The virus outbreak in capital Male' severely affected its migrant worker population, the majority of whom are Bangladeshi nationals living in highly congested quarters where it is impossible to reduce contact or exercise social distancing. Their often small-spaced living conditions have been described by local and international civil society organizations as, "claustrophobic", "unsanitary" and "overcrowded".

In a move to contain the spread of the coronavirus, in particular within congested labour quarters, the administration has mobilised efforts to transfer expatriate workers to safer environments, including temporary shelters in Hulhumale', Thilafushi and Gulhifalhu.

As per current statistics, migrant workers consist of almost 65 percent of the positive cases identified in the country, with Indian citizens accounting for 1,257 cases or 52.16 percent of the total.

Overall, Maldives presently records 2,410 confirmed and 419 active cases of COVID-19. Till date, the country has reported 1,976 recoveries and 10 fatalities.

As one of the most densely populated cities in the world, Maldives' capital Malé recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in the first weeks following the first confirmed local transmission on April 15.

However, the number of recoveries have continued to rise, with 82 percent of patients now recovered.

On March 12, WHO classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. To date, the new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 11.2 million people and claimed over 529,600 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 6.3 million people have recovered.