3923 expatriate workers in ME infected Covid-19: 89 die: Minister

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A total of 89 Sri Lankan expatriate workers in the Middle East have died of COVID 19 as at December 31, 2020, Minister of Labour Nimal Siripala de Silva told Parliament today.

He said 3923 expatriate workers have infected the virus while 3834 out of them have recovered by now.

Minister de Silva, who was responding to a question raised under 27(2) by MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake , said 60 Sri Lankan expatriates out of 89 have been qualified to receive compensation of Rs.40,000 while it has been paid to 39 persons.

“Sri Lankan expatriate workers who succumb to the pandemic are entitled for the Rs 500,000 life insurance scheme,” he said.

. We have repatriated 61,750 Sri Lankan expatriates since the outbreak of COVID 19 pandemic in March last year. These have been repatriated in charter and mercy flights. Some 41451 Sri Lankan expatriates have been registered to be repatriated,” he added.

“There are 69,000 Sri Lankan expatriates from 137 countries to be repatriated. More expatriate workers can be repatriated if the number COVID 19 patients within Sri Lanka are deduced. There will be more room in quarantine centres to accommodate more Sri Lankan expatriates if the number of COVID 19 patents are reduced within the country,” the Minister also said.

Also he said reducing airfares is also a difficult task according to airline companies and the Civil Aviation Authority.

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