The government, in cooperation with Bangladesh Embassy in Washington, is exploring ways to bring back Bangladeshis who got stranded in the USA due to lockdown amid coronavirus pandemic, said officials.
Around 200 Bangladesh nationals, including students, expressed willingness to return to Bangladesh. The government is in discussion with Qatar Airways for operating a chartered flight.
"Negotiation is still underway. Nothing's been finalised yet," Shamim Ahmad, Minister (Press) at Bangladesh Embassy in Washington, told UNB over phone.
Once the chartered flight is finalised, Bangladeshis who expressed willingness, will return home with their own cost.
The Embassy of Bangladesh in Washington, DC is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation in the US, Argentina, Belize, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guyana and Venezuela.
Earlier, the Embassy urged Bangladeshi nationals to stay in touch through 24/7 cell phone (+1-202-740-6305) for necessary support if any of them is stranded in any of these countries.
Responding to a question, Shamim Ahmad said they do not have the exact figure of how many Bangladeshis died due to coronavirus or got infected because of the process the US authorities follow there.
Quoting the Bangladesh community, he said the death figure might be between 160 and 180 while around 1,000 got infected.
Shamim Ahmad said New York City recorded around 80 percent of the total death of Bangladesh nationals.
Coronavirus, which was first reported in China in December last year, has infected more than 2.5 million people globally and killed over 178,000, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.