Maldives Police Service on Tuesday commenced the search for 11 Bangladeshi nationals that escaped from COVID-19 quarantine facilities.
Disclosing the names, photographs and passport numbers of the expatriates, the police revealed that they were all undocumented workers and that authorities were working to repatriate them:
- Ropak Kuri, Lakshmipur (BM0938722)
- Bachchu, Comilla (BR0872347)
- M.D. Shahada Mathubbaru, Faridpur (BH0071524)
- M.D. Milon Sheikh, Jhenaidah (BX0843257)
- Sumon Ahmed (BX0876943)
- Rab, Comilla (BE0857437)
- Mohamed Rubel Miah, Comilla (BE0329984)
- Maznu Pramanik, Rajbari (BJ0081953)
- M.D. Shaha Ali, Rajbari (BM0067339)
- Hokon Malik, Chandpur (BX0536661)
- Shahaadath Hossein, Chandpur (BE0524543)
Police urged anyone with any information on the above Bangladeshi nationals to report to the authority via +960 9631696, further thanking the public for its cooperation.
Bangladeshi nationals make up the majority of the expatriate population in Maldives, which numbers at over 144,600. Authorities had previously estimate that 63,000 of the expatriate population are undocumented, though the numbers are expected to be lower following the government's ongoing repatriation programme amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
As expatriate workers are often given small and congested labour quarters by their employers, the spread of COVID-19 in Maldives had a disproportionate impact on the expat population, particularly among the Bangladeshi nationals. The government has since carried out initiatives to transfer expatriate workers to temporary shelters with safer environments.
Meanwhile, the administration's efforts to repatriate undocumented workers have seen more than 6,000 Bangladeshi nationals returned home to Dhaka, as per the national airline Maldivian.
Maldives presently records a total of 7,804 confirmed and 2,615 active COVID-19 cases, along with 5,155 recoveries and 29 deaths.