Bangladesh is currently weighing all options to bring back several hundred of its citizens stuck in India during the 21-day lockdown that was enforced there since March 24 following the global outbreak of coronavirus.
Press Minister of Bangladesh High Commission in Delhi, Farid Hossain, said local Indian airlines are not available and the commission is talking to Air India as well as Biman Bangladesh for the evacuation.
"We are talking to Biman Bangladesh, which we consider to be a good option," Farid Hossain, press minister of Bangladesh High Commission in Delhi, told The Daily Star today.
As of yesterday, more than 500 Bangladeshis, mostly in Chennai and Bengaluru, contacted the Bangladesh High Commission through its hotline number. Majority of them said they want to return to Bangladesh and many others are in a financial crunch.
Some people have also said they need to extend their visas.
The Bangladesh High Commission in Delhi has also opened a hotline number: +918595552494.
"Those who will return to Bangladesh will have to pay themselves. If Biman is chartered, the passengers' relatives can buy tickets from Bangladesh. In that case, there will be no issues regarding money transfer," he said.
All the details will be notified after the government finalises the deal with the airlines, he added.
Indian Ministry has assured Bangladesh of assistance in this regard, the press minister said.
For those, who have financial issues, the government has already talked to the Bangladesh Bank. Relatives can send money through Western Union using Bank Asia and Social Islamic Bank Limited, he added.
The Bangladesh Bank also instructed the banks to lift the credit limit of those with credit cards, Farid Hossain said.
The Indian Ministry of External Affairs also assured of extension of visas for those who need.