Covid-19 and vulnerability of overseas Bangladeshis

23 May 2020 2:10 PM
angladesh is probably the beneficiaries of globalization in fact it is also among the worst-hit countries as a result of the dire COVID-19 outbreak.

International travelers who used international flights leaving from China, Italy, Saudi Arabia and UAE are usually the principal carriers of the Coronavirus to Bangladesh, and later it spread across the country.

International flights have been restricted apart from urgent operations. A wide array of overseas Bangladeshis are trapped, affected, and in critical situations.

These overseas Bangladeshis comprise migrant personnel working in the center East, Singapore and Malaysia, immigrants in EUROPE and the united states, self-financed students in Europe, the united states and India, together with visitors and medical tourists, particularly in India.

This equals approximately 15 million Bangladeshis abroad, which is a lot more than the full total population of 159 countries in the world.

Due to COVID-19, Bangladeshi personnel working abroad have already been rendered jobless, quarantined in shabby living places, mentally disturbed because their family does not have any money, are fearful to be affected by the virus, and also have the fear to be repaid to Bangladesh.

Bangladeshi immigrants and non permanent residents have great contributions to the national economy of Bangladesh, because they send back remittances to the united states.

These groups reside in densely resident dormitories, that can be the epicenters for the COVID-19 outbreak. Although the federal government of Singapore has taken effective initiatives, the encompassing environment may work against it.

It really is evident that the amount of COVID-19 positive Bangladeshis in Singapore is higher than/ add up to the total infected people in Bangladesh, which indicates that the total Bangladeshis staying abroad, is a significant number.

Similar cases can be found in UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Malaysia where most Bangladeshi staff migrated for employment. The numbers of Corona-infected Bangladeshi populations are more outside the country than in Bangladesh itself.

Bangladeshi immigrants and short-term residents have great contributions to the national economy of Bangladesh, because they send back remittances to the united states.

This section is now going through a significant hard time abroad as a result of the restrictions on the economic activities.

Self-financed students are another group who 're going through a hard time outside the country as the banking transactions have already been restricted.

Most the persons in this group are in unstructured and non-mainstreaming jobs, and mostly reliant on the service sectors, such as for example taxi-drivers, restaurant workers, and others, whose jobs are uncertain for an indefinite time frame.

Besides, as sub-sections of this overseas group comprises of doctors and nurses, it makes many of them the most vulnerable community all over the world at this time.

It really is evident that more than 300 overseas Bangladeshis died of COVID-19, among whom were a great number of doctors based in the united states, the united kingdom, Italy, and Saudi Arabia.

Self-financed students are another group who 're going through trouble outside the country because the banking transactions have been restricted.

Although the Bangladesh Bank has issued an order to permit Banks to send money to the overseas Bangladeshis without the consent of the Central Bank of Bangladesh, it had been extremely hard earlier, putting students studying in the US and Europe in a crucial situation.

However, the problems still persist as the countries are facing a lockdown since that time.

Similarly, Bangladeshi visitors who went abroad for business and medical purposes are stuck there without the cash, or with expired visas.

The strong agriculture-based internal markets could be among the solutions that may produce other backward linkages to agro-based industries, which in turn can help the receding economy.

Even the amount of financial transactions you can make in foreign countries is bound and foreign bank cards cannot spend beyond USD 500 each year.

However, the limits were increased through the COVID-19 pandemic. Bangladeshi patients overseas, especially in India, may face serious troubles due to the uncertainty about when the lockdown will end. In addition, they will have to face a financial burden.

The standard patients (about one million) who usually see Indian doctors are now worried because they are not in the situation to obtain follow-up checkups.

The social acceptance of Bangladeshis overseas will fall dramatically, that was false earlier. Bangladeshi people have also denied accepting overseas people, especially from Italy, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and also have ignored their financial contributions to the national economy.

General persons are agitated on the establishment of an institutional quarantine at Diyabari, Dhaka for them.

Alternatively, the remittance senders do not want to remain for a fourteen-day-quarantine in the government-designated area, and they forced the administration to set them free for self-quarantine in the home which, in fact, didn't work and was the starting of community transmissions in Bangladesh.

It really is reportedly said that there have been fights that needed to be limited to prevent their entry. Family members were also reportedly designed to not welcome them as a result of the fear of spreading infection.

On the other hand, thousands of Bangladeshi migrants who came home on leave and those who were waiting to fly after securing work visas are not being able to join work abroad as the destination countries have imposed travel bans in face of the Coronavirus outbreak, which, in line with the experts, is now threatening to result in a global recession.

Recession may prevent Bangladeshis from working abroad, even if they have secured visas, as a result of the setbacks being faced by the getting country.

Should this happen, Bangladesh may face multiple problems including unemployment, depletion of savings, and a general social crisis.

Aside from this, the Bangladeshi economy may drastically shrink because of being most reliant on the remittances from staff abroad, and the garment-manufacturing income.

The increasing record of foreign remittance has already gone down to the cheapest within the last 12 months.

The GDP growth rate may also be seriously affected. Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen meanwhile directed the Bangladesh Ambassadors in 11 countries of the Middle East to expedite diplomatic efforts to ensure that Bangladeshi workers in those countries will get back their jobs after the current situation returns on track.

He also directed the envoys to make sure salaries and allowances if any worker returns to Bangladesh through their diplomatic efforts.

Bangladesh needs to employ the inflow and outflow of overseas employees. 

The strong agriculture-based internal markets could be among the solutions which can produce other backward linkages to agro-based industries, which in turn can help the receding economy.

Secondly, the Ministry of Expatriate Workers and Overseas Employment, along using its departments, can identify all legal and illegitimate migrants and force them to sign up with the government’s IT-based mechanism in order that the Bangladesh Government can trace and track them easily to take necessary action whenever required.

As a result of rise of a crucial crisis because of COVID-19, illegal migrant personnel could be taken under supervision and surveillance.

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh government will come forward with the near future plan of action for both legal and against the law migrant workers and lay out a comprehensive plan for implementation.

The status quo policy can be followed until the normalcy of day-to-day activities returns. Only emergency crises linked to Bangladeshi workers could be settled in consultation with the host countries.

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT of Bangladesh should give attention to the skill-training in nursing, health technology, management, medicine and hospitality, as part of its migration strategy.

As the overseas employees of South Parts of asia are some of the biggest sufferers, a collective South Asian platform can even be utilized to mitigate the problem.