Nearly 60,000 Sri Lankans who were stranded in overseas due to Covid-19 have been repatriated as of yesterday from 137 countries, Minister Namal Rajapaksa said.
Accordingly, a total of 59,377 Sri Lankans were brought back to the country from various countries including from the Middle East.
To date, 26,812 locals have been repatriated from the Middle East, 12,005 from East Asia, 10,033 from South Asia, 5,484 from UK and Europe, 2026 from the African region, 2,124 from North America, 1,605 from Russia and 189 from Latin America, he said. “In December alone, 11,323 locals were repatriated and by the end of December, we expect these figures to go up to 12,395 which is the highest number to be repatriated for a month with an average of 400 locals being brought back daily,” he said. The Minister said that a day after Sri Lanka re-opened its borders to welcome the first batch of tourists from Ukraine after nine months which is much to the relief of several sectors who have faced a devastating blow from the COVID-19 pandemic, he had received a number of inquiries asking whether repatriation of local citizens would also continue with so much vigour.