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HomeForeign NewsVirus Thwarts Nepal’s Efforts to Bring Bodies of Migrant Workers Home

Virus Thwarts Nepal’s Efforts to Bring Bodies of Migrant Workers Home

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The bodies of, at least, 76 Nepali migrant workers are languishing overseas owing to delays caused by irregular international flights and COVID-19 restrictions, authorities say.
According to the Foreign Employment Board (FEB), a total of 494 Nepali migrant workers have died while working abroad since February.
Of them, Nepal has managed to bring home only 246 as of Aug. 7.
Families of the remaining 172 workers have given written consent to carry out funeral rites, in their absentia, abroad.
FEB spokesperson, Din Bandhu Subedi, said Nepal’s embassies in the concerned countries have already been able to get some migrants buried or cremated in accordance with custom.
“Other bodies would be given proper funerals after all due legal processes are cleared”.
Subedi said the suspension of international flights, COVID-19 restrictions and red tape was hindering efforts to bring the bodies home on time.
More than 90 per cent of the deaths in the aforementioned period occurred in Saudi Arabia (173), Malaysia (92), UAE (83), Qatar (77), Kuwait (25) and Bahrain (11), according to FEB.
“So far, only 27 workers have died due to COVID-19 while others died due to other reasons”.
FEB’s data show that at least 8,200 Nepali workers have died in the last 12 years, a vast majority of them in Malaysia and the Gulf countries which host an estimated two million Nepali workers.
Human rights groups have long expressed concerns over appalling working and living conditions of foreign labourers in the Gulf and Malaysia.

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