The Edition


Maldives repatriates 290 additional Bangladeshi citizens

Shahudha Mohamed
17 July 2020, MVT 16:40
Bangladeshi citizens boarding a Maldivian flight for repatriation. PHOTO: MALDIVIAN
Shahudha Mohamed
17 July 2020, MVT 16:40

A further 290 Bangladeshi citizens working in Maldives was set back to their home countries on Thursday and Friday.

According to the national airline, Maldivian, A total of 152 expats were repatriated on Friday and an additional 138 expats were repatriated on Friday.

Friday's flight took off from Gan International Airport, in Addu Atoll. This is the first repatriation flight that departed Maldives from a location other than Velana International Airport in Male'.

Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the state has repatriated many migrant workers residing in Maldives. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, over 3677 foreigners that were sent back to their home countries were undocumented workers.

The state is currently carrying out various efforts to repatriate undocumented migrants in the country. Authorities estimated that approximately 20,000 workers will be sent back to their home countries by the end of 2020.

Since the beginning of the community-wide outbreak of COVID-19 in Maldives, the total number of Bangladeshi expatriates that have tested positive for the virus have surpassed 1354. Roughly 46 percent of all confirmed cases in the country are Bangladeshi citizens.

Furthermore, the COVID-19 outbreak in the capital has disproportionately affected the expatriate 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".

At present, Maldives records a total of 2,899 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 530 active cases, 2,339 recoveries and a total of 15 fatalities.

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 13.9 million people and claimed over 593,300 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 8.3 million people have recovered.