Saturday 11th July 2020

Nepal Mulls to Repatriate Over 100 Dead Bodies of Nepali Workers

The suspension of international flights amid coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult to repatriate dead bodies.
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Nepal Mulls to Repatriate Over 100 Dead Bodies of Nepali Workers

Owing to the Nepali Government’s repeated failure, more than 100 dead bodies of Nepali migrant workers have been stuck in various foreign countries.

Moreover, the suspension of international flights amid coronavirus pandemic has further made it difficult to bring back dead bodies.

Since Nepal went into lockdown, a total of 333 Nepali migrant workers have lost their lives abroad.

The country-wise deaths include:

  • Saudi Arabia – 102
  • UAE – 73
  • Malaysia – 62
  • Qatar – 48
  • Kuwait – 17
  • Bahrain – 7
  • South Korea – 5

Following the suspension of international flights, the Nepali Government has decided to provide NPR 50,000 to each family of the deceased if they agree to cremate the dead bodies in the host countries.

Tribhuvan International Airport

However, only 126 families have given their consent to perform the final rites of their relatives in foreign lands.

According to the Nepali Foreign Employment Board, around 120 dead bodies are yet to be repatriated to Nepal from various countries.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nepali Government used to take a maximum of three months to bring back the dead bodies. However, the bodies of the migrant workers who died even before April have been stuck due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Board, dead bodies can be repatriated within a month from other countries apart from Saudi Arabia, where it usually takes over three months.

Meanwhile, repatriating the dead bodies from South Korea is the most expensive. The Foreign Employment Board has to bring the bodies with its own expenses as the employers do not agree to repatriate dead bodies to Nepal.

It costs around NPR 500,000 to bring a dead body from Korea.

As of June 28, a total of 59 dead bodies are yet to be brought back from Saudi Arabia, 23 from Malaysia, 14 from the UAE, 11 from Qatar, five from Kuwait, and one from Bahrain.

Despite constant requests by the families of the deceased, the Nepali Government has yet to find a way to repatriate the dead bodies.

However, the Board provides compensation worth NPR 700,000 to the families of deceased migrant workers.

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