Indonesians in Sri Lanka, Maldives return home

The Indonesian Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka, has facilitated the repatriation of 335 Indonesian migrant workers from Sri Lanka and the Maldives after the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak took a toll on their jobs, the Antara News service reported today.

Most workers had to return to Indonesia after companies and resorts ceased operations and were no longer in a position to pay the salaries of Indonesian migrant workers in full, the Indonesian Embassy noted in a statement.

At the request of several companies, resorts, and Indonesian workers residing in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, the Indonesian Embassy in Colombo collaborated with Hayleys Aviation as General Sales Agent (GSA) of Garuda Indonesia in Colombo to facilitate the repatriation process.

The Indonesian Embassy in Colombo conducted the repatriation on Friday (Apr 24) aboard a chartered Garuda Indonesia aircraft, the cost for which was borne by the companies, resorts, and the Indonesian workers.

April 24, 2020, became a historic day, as Garuda Indonesia made its maiden landing in the Maldives.

Most companies requesting the repatriation of workers from Indonesia were luxury resorts, five-star resorts, four-star resorts, restaurants, retail, manufacturing, and spas.

The Indonesian government has imposed a large-scale social distancing measure and necessitated Indonesian migrant workers returning to the country to isolate themselves for at least 14 days to ensure that they are not infected by the coronavirus.

As of April 24, 2020, Indonesia had recorded 7,775 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 647 deaths and 960 recoveries. The hotspots for COVID-19 transmission include Jakarta, several cities in West Java, East Java, Central Java, and Banten. (Colombo Gazette)


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