11,276 workers from 14 countries repatriated so far - Nimal Siripala
BY Gagani Weerakoon and Methmalie Dissanayake
Minister of Labour Nimal Siripala de Silva told Parliament on 19 November that 11,276 workers from 14 countries have been repatriated as at 13 November following travel restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Responding to an Oral Question raised by the Samagi Jana Balawegaya Parliamentarian Chaminda Wijesiri, he said that according to the data from the Bureau of Foreign Employment and the Department of Immigration and Emigration, there were 816,433 Sri Lankan migrant workers as at 13 November.
He said that all possible steps have been taken by the Ministry to repatriate these workers in a gradual process under the guidance of the COVID-19 Task Force and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
If a worker who is registered with the Bureau dies due to COVID-19 within the registration validity period, the Bureau will intervene to obtain compensation for the dependents. At present, 68 patients registered with the Bureau have died of COVID-19. Also, the dependents of six persons who died due to COVID-19 have requested compensation despite their registration validity period having expired. One of them was given Rs 300,000 via the Employees Provident Fund, he said.