Sri Lanka government revealed that 40,000 Sri Lankan expatriate workers are waiting for flights to return home.
As of 25th June, 52,401 Sri Lankan expatriate workers have applied to return to Sri Lanka, cabinet spokesman Bandula Gunawardane announced today.
They belong to an estimated total migrant labour force of over 1.3 million Sri Lankans.
Meanwhile, the Minister told that 9,580 of them from 38 countries have already been brought back to the island.
Ten more flights from ten destinations are planned in June, Minister Gunawardane said.
The expatriate workers who return to Sri Lanka have to undergo quarantine of 14 days at a government-designated place.
Thousands of Sri Lanka expatriate workers are undergoing utmost difficulties in the countries they worked previously. Some of them have already overstayed in those countries. Many have lost jobs and find it extremely difficult to seek food and lodging.
People lament about the slow progress in terms of the return of the expatriate workers. However, the government lacks facilities to quarantine a large number of returnees at a time.