The number of Bangladeshi migrants returning to the country has increased sharply in the last three weeks compared to the previous weeks of the pandemic.
After August 22, as many as 49,166 workers flew back home from different countries. Since April, a total of 1,27,209 migrants, including 11,703 women, came back from 28 countries, mostly the Middle Eastern ones, according to the latest data of the expatriates’ welfare ministry, mentioned in a report.
The number of migrants who returned amid the pandemic this year is almost double the number for the entire year last year. Besides, many returned before the pandemic and got stuck because of the suspension in air communication.
Citing data from the Prabashi Kalyan Desk set up at the airport in Dhaka, Brac in January this year said 64,638 migrant workers came in 2019.
The ministry report, prepared based on information from the Prabashi Kalyan Desk, said 78,043 migrants arrived between April 1 and August 22 this year.
Also, workers came back after obtaining “out-pass” after serving jail terms for various offences and following the expiry of their work permits.
The report said of those who returned since April, 99,939 had valid passports, and 27,270 came back with the “out-pass”.
It said the highest 36,533 workers flew from the United Arab Emirates, followed by 30,531 from Saudi Arabia and 10,575 from Qatar.
Also, 9,361 workers returned from the Maldives, 8,626 from Kuwait, 8,609 from Oman, 5,249 from Iraq, and 5,000 from Malaysia.
At present, 13 airlines, including Biman Bangladesh Airlines and US-Bangla Airlines, are carrying passengers to Dhaka in 46 direct flights every week from destinations like the UAE, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Maldives and Turkey every week, said an official at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka.
The Prabashi Kalyan Desk was set up at the airport under the expatriates’ welfare ministry to help both departing and arriving migrant workers regarding immigration.
There are more than one crore Bangladeshi workers in 160 countries, according to government officials.
Photo credit: Collected
News source: The Daily Star