MALE, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Over 13,500 foreign workers have been repatriated by the Maldives government amid the COVID-19 pandemic, local media citing data from the Maldives Immigration reported here Wednesday.
The workers, including 5,014 Bangladeshis, 5,026 Indians, 1,393 Sri Lankans, 809 Indonesians, 336 Filipinos, 350 Thai nationals and 604 Nepali nationals, have been repatriated, according to Maldives Immigration.
State media reported that the repatriation operation was initiated by state institutions such as Maldives Immigration, the Ministry of Economic Development, and the Maldives Police Service (MPS) in order to safely return migrants workers to their home countries at a time when international travel was restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih held a special meeting with the National Security Council (NSC) and relevant senior officials to find a solution to migrant worker protests regarding non-payment of wages.
State Minister for Home Affairs Ali Nazeer was quoted by local media as saying that government institutions including the Ministry of Economic Development are working to resolve issues faced by foreign workers.
The Maldives is the host to around 63,000 undocumented migrant workers according to Maldives Immigration. The government plans to repatriate over 20,000 of foreign workers by the end of this year. Enditem