Eighty nine of 3 ,923 Sri Lankan expatriate workers who contracted COVID- 19 while working in the Middle East had succumbed to the illness, Labour Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva told Parliament yesterday.
The deaths have occurred between March and December last year, he said.
The Minister said this in response to a question raised by NPP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake in Parliament.
The Minister said Sri Lankan expatriate workers who succumb to COVID-19 are entitled to Rs 500,000 as part of their life insurance scheme if they are registered with the Foreign Employment Bureau while family members are also paid Rs50,00 as compensation.
He also said that 31,102 Sri Lankan workers from the Middle East have returned to the country aft the outbreak of the coronavirus while there are around 70,000 Lankans awaiting repatriation from 137 countries.
. “There are 69,000 Sri Lankan expatriates in 137 countries awaiting repatriation. Of these 41,451 have registered with the Sri tankan missions while the rest have left the country illegally, overstayed their visas etc. and also want to return, “ he said.