Maldivian repatriates over 9,600 Bangladeshis

Bangladeshi national stand in queue at the airport to travel back home | Photo: Mihaaru

Malé, Maldives — The national flight of Maldives, Maldivian has repatriated over 9,600 Bangladeshi nationals since Covid-19 started spreading in Maldives in May.

The Maldivian airline tweeted to inform that they have repatriated additional 200 Bangladeshis from the the 50th repatriation flight they scheduled this year to go to the capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka.

Including the repatriation of these 200 expats, till date, the airline has repatriated a total of 9,633 Bangladeshis who were living in Maldives.

While Maldives has been cracking down on illegal immigrants and has been sending them back home, most of whom are Bangladeshi, Maldivian Airlines was recently fined by Bangladeshi authorities after most of the 200 Bangladeshi passengers aboard a Maldivian flight to HSIA did not carry a negative Covid-19 result certificate.

The Maldivian government has been repatriating volunteering expatriate workers from Maldives due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. By the end of 2020, the government has aimed to repatriate at least 20,000 undocumented workers.

The Economic Development Minister noted that the country will not force any expatriate to return to their home country.

The repatriation program began when there was a surge in the number of confirmed Bangladeshis in the country. When the Covid-19 virus first lead to a community spread in the Malé city, majority of the confirmed confirmed cases were recorded to be of Bangladeshi nationals. 

This was mainly due to the overcrowded and unsanitary living conditions that the expacts had to live in. While Maldives consists of a mass amount of Bangladeshi population, the Maldives Immigration revealed that there are approximately 100,000 undocumented workers living in Maldives illegally without having any valid documents or passports.

This is why, the government decided to repatriate as many Bangladeshis living in Maldives for the safety of everyone. As the number of repatriated Bangladeshis increased, the amount of Bangladeshi nationals testing positive for the virus has decreased by a great extend as well.

Till date, Maldives has confirmed a total of 13,738 Covid-19 cases from which 3,322 cases are of Bangladeshi nationals. Out of the confirmed 13,738 cases, only 558 Covid-19 cases remains active. While 13,125 people have completely recovered from the virus, 48 people have passed away from it.