Nepal | January 24, 2021

COVID-19 claims lives of 10 migrants

1,285 Nepali workers infected in major labour destinations

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, May 18

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, a total of 10 Nepali migrant workers employed in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have lost their lives and another 1,285 labourers in the Gulf Cooperation Council nations and Malaysia have been infected by the virus.

Kumar Dahal, director general of the Department of Foreign Employment, mentioned that the details of the deceased workers had not been made public by the government due to the sensitivity of the matter and the impact it could have on the country.

“We have provided the details to the concerned families only as the information could have affected the country negatively in its fight against the infection,” he added.

As of today, Saudi Arabia with 674 coronavirus positive cases has the highest number of infected Nepali migrants. Similarly, Bahrain with 330 positive cases has the second-highest number of infected Nepali migrants. Likewise, Kuwait has 81 cases and the UAE and Qatar each have 75 cases of Nepali workers being infected by the disease.

Similarly, 46 in Malaysia and four in Oman have been infected with the coronavirus.

Moreover, according to data provided by Non-Resident Nepali Association, 6,981 Nepalis living abroad have been infected as of May 16 and among them, 95 have died.

Earlier, the government had decided to bury the bodies of the dead migrant workers in the respective labour destinations due to the fear that the coronavirus could spread if the corpses were transported to the country.

As per the Secretariat of the Foreign Employment Board, as of now, the dead bodies of 144 migrants — who did not pass away due to the COVID-19 — are stalled in various foreign countries. The board has repeatedly urged the families to allow their bodies to be buried abroad. It had issued a notice on May 12, requesting a letter of consent from the relatives of the deceased workers so that their bodies could be buried in their respective destinations.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 19, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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