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Measures taken to bring home Bangladeshi patients, students stranded in India

  • Published at 02:09 pm March 30th, 2020
coronavirus-india
File photo: A man wearing a protective mask walks past a bus stop displaying preventive measures against the coronavirus in Mumbai, India, March 18, 2020 Reuters

At the same time, Dhaka is in touch with New Delhi so that the stranded Bangladeshis are looked after by the local authorities

The Bangladesh mission in New Delhi has taken an initiative to send back home Bangladeshis stranded in India in light of the lockdown announced by the Indian government to contain the spread of Covid-19.

The mission took the initiative as a significant number of Bangladeshi patients and students remained stranded in various hospitals in Chennai, Bengaluru, Vellore and Delhi and at educational institutions in different parts of the country following the lockdown, reports BSS.

“We will send back the stranded Bangladeshis who are willing to return to Bangladesh. A list is being prepared to this end,” said Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Mohammad Imran on Monday.

Talking to BSS, he said that a total of 162 stranded Bangladeshi had expressed their willingness so far to return to Bangladesh. Mission officials were working round-the-clock to provide all kinds of assistance to them.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam on Sunday told Dhaka Tribune about the initiative, stating that the government was making efforts to bring back home the stranded Bangladesh nationals from India. 

At the same time, Dhaka is in touch with New Delhi so that the stranded Bangladeshis are looked after by the local authorities.

Unconfirmed sources said that several hundreds of Bangladeshi students and patients were stranded in different educational institutions and hospitals across India.

An official of Bangladesh high commission said the mission officials on Monday held an emergency meeting to discuss resolving the problems faced by the stranded Bangladeshis in the awake of the Covid-19 outbreak.

High Commission sources said that more than 520 Bangladeshis, most of whom were patients and were stranded at different health facilities in India, had contacted the mission on its hotline number seeking help.

They told the mission officials that they had been suffering from lack of food and money and also requested them to take initiatives to send them back to Bangladesh under special arrangements.

When asked about the meeting, sources said that the meeting decided to send an official letter to the ministry of foreign affairs in Dhaka on Monday on bringing back the stranded Bangladeshis.

Meanwhile, the mission was reportedly in discussion with a number of airlines, including Biman Bangladesh Airlines, to charter their aircraft to bring the stranded people back home.

Sources said that the Biman fares had to be borne by the passengers. Meanwhile, 162 passengers have confirmed that they would bear the expenses. 

About solving their financial crisis, the meeting at the mission was told that Bangladesh Bank had already asked two commercial banks to facilitate the process following consultation with Western Union Money Transfer so that relatives of the Bangladeshis could send money to their near ones in India without any hassle.

In turn, the central bank asked all commercial banks to give credit limit waiver of the credit cards holders, who are now undergoing treatment in India during the last couple of days.

Earlier, the mission opened two hotline numbers so that Bangladeshis stranded in India could contact the mission.

The mission’s hotline numbers are- +91 5895552494, +91 9833159930.

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