A total of 288 expatriate Bangladeshi workers returned home from Oman by a special chartered flight on Friday night.
A special flight of Oman Air landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) at 6:50pm carrying 288 Bangladeshi citizens, HISA director Group Captain AHM Touhid-ul Ahsan told media.
This was the second batch of deported Bangladeshi workers from the middle east as Saudi Arabia sent more than 200 expatriate labourers on April 15 first time after outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic that forced to job cut of migrant workers employed in the oil-rich nations.
The Oman government as like its neighbouring Saudi Arabia bore the cost of the chartered flight to send back the Bangladeshi nationals.
As per the government decision, after arriving in Dhaka, all returnee workers would have undergone a medical checkup at the airport and to be sent to 14-day institutional quarantine under the Armed Forces Division (AFD) management.
The returnee expatriate workers received Tk5,000 on arrival at the airport according to a government decision, taken early this month. Besides, the expatriate welfare ministry decided to provide loans varied from Tk5,00,000 to Tk7,00,000 upon return of jobless expatriate workers here from different countries amid COVID-19 pandemic to enable them to pursue viable economic activities, especially in agriculture sector.
On Wednesday, 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.
He also proposed to establish an OIC Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund and urged to engage humanitarian organizations in OIC Member States to provide sufficient financial assistance, medical support to the Muslim migrant workers from LDCs and developing countries until the impact of the epidemic is over.
Momen also urged the humanitarian organizations to advocate for migrant workers job retention in the OIC countries to ensure their healthy livelihoods.
Earlier, the foreign minister told media that few Middle Eastern countries urged Dhaka to take back "our undocumented workers including the jail inmates".
Momen added his office would try everything possible to prevent any major setback involving "our migrant workers".
Bangladesh, he said, was ready to receive its nationals in principle but Dhaka informed the concerned ME countries that "we would take them back in phases for quarantine preparedness" and "facilities are being developed for their accommodation in a proper way".