289 Bangladeshis return from Oman, 164 from India


DHAKA, April 30, 2020 (BSS) – A total of 289 expatriate Bangladeshi workers returned home from Oman while 164 more Bangladeshi nationals, who have been stranded in South India amid flight suspension due to COVID-19 pandemic, arrived here today by separate chartered flights.

A special flight of Oman Air landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) at 6:21 PM this evening carrying 289 Bangladeshi citizens, HISA director Group Captain AHM Touhid-ul Ahsan told media.

Oman bore the cost of the flight to send back the second batch of Bangladeshi nationals as 288 expatriate workers first arrived here on April 24 from the Middle Eastern (ME) nation that took decongestion policy leveling migrant workers as like some of its neighboring countries fearing rise of the pandemic.

Saudi Arabia was the first ME country that sent more than 200 expatriate labourers on April 15 after outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic that forced to job cut of migrant workers employed in the oil-rich nation.

As per the government decision, after arriving here, all returnee workers would have undergone a medical checkup at the airport and to be sent to a 14-day institutional quarantine under the Armed Forces Division (AFD) management.

The returnee expatriate workers received Taka 5,000 on arrival at the airport according to a government decision, taken early this month.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Dr A K Abdul Momen, at a video conference with his counterparts of OIC’s executive committee member states, urged the OIC countries to give utmost importance on the issue of job retention of domestic and resident migrant workers.

Besides, expatriate workers, 164 stranded Bangladeshi nationals arrived here today from Chennai by a chartered flight of local carrier US-Bangla Airlines facilitated by the government in coordination with Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi. A Chartered flight of US-Airlines landed at HSIA at around 3 Pm today carrying 163 Bangladeshi citizens, including one infant, HISA director confirmed.

From April 20 till today, nearly 1200 Bangladeshi nationals were brought back from India by seven chartered flights – six from Chennai, operated by US- Bangla Airlines, and one from New Delhi, operated by Biman – while the passengers bore the cost of their own tickets.

Bangladesh High Commission in India has kept their efforts on to facilitate the return of more Bangladeshis who are still stuck up in India.

Six more chartered flights are scheduled to bring back more stranded Bangladeshi from Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines will operate chartered flights to Dhaka from Kolkata on May 1, from New Delhi on May 2 and 5 and from Mumbai on May 3 while the US-Bangla Airlines will operate two more special flights from Chennai on May 1 and 2.

On April 3, the foreign ministry issued a statement, saying that nearly 2,500 Bangladeshi citizens, including 1,000 students, were stranded in India due to COVID-19 outbreak.