ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lanka embassy in Kuwait has repatriated 6,000 out of 9,000 stranded Sri Lankan migrant workers who had signed up for repatriation, the embassy said.
The returnees included Sri Lankan migrant workers that were held at a Kuwait state-run deportation centre and shelter and a safe house maintained by the embassy, a statement said.
The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) and a number of ministries had also arranged free government quarantine facilities for the returnees from Kuwait, the embassy said. The SLFBE has also started to provide free hotel quarantine to Sri Lankan migrant workers returning from the Middle East.
A batch of 150 returnees who had left Kuwait on April 12 have received free hotel quarantine, the embassy said. It is not clear if they were the first of the returnees to be provided hotel quarantine.
Most quarantine hotels in Sri Lanka were emptying out with relaxed quarantine periods for tourists and returnees as Sri Lanka’s daily COVID-19 cases too had showed a decline before the Sinhala and Tamil New Year on April 14.
The Kuwait embassy further said it is coordinating with several airlines in the region that operate from Kuwait and Sri Lanka.
The embassy said it has also negotiated to bring down the repatriation package for migrant workers to Kuwait Dinar 250 which is inclusive of one PCR test in Kuwait, airfare, two PCR tests in Colombo and quarantine charges for seven days. This is with the understanding that the embassy would facilitate obtaining approval from the Foreign Ministry for the passengers list, submitted by relevant airlines. (Colombo/Apr28/2021)