Bangladeshis in KSA: 3,437 died in two years
At least 3,437 Bangladeshis died in different parts of Saudi Arabia, where the Bangladesh consulate general in Jeddah has its jurisdictionbetween July 2019 and June 2021.
Of the dead, 2,448 were buried locally after taking due permission from their families back home. The other 989 bodies were sent back home, said a recent report of the consulate general.
Fiscal year-wise, 1,696 Bangladeshis died in 2019-2020 and another 1,741 died the following fiscal year, the report said.
It highlighted different services that the consulate general provided the expatriates during the last two fiscal years.
As per the consulate general's data, about 7 lakh Bangladeshis live in various cities under its jurisdiction, which spans over the western part of Saudi Arabia.
The consulate general covers seven out of 13 provinces in the Kingdom.
According to the Bangladesh Embassy in Riyadh, about 22.8 lakhs Bangladeshis are currently employed in Saudi Arabia.
Aminul Islam, labour welfare counsellor at the Bangladesh Consulate General in Jeddah, said the expatriates died from different causes, including Covid-19.
Since March 2020, the consulate general registered 556 Bangladeshis who died from Covid-19, Aminul told this newspaper yesterday.
He said those who died from Covid-19 were buried in Saudi Arabia for "mandatory reasons" and also because of a changing situation.
Some of the burials may have happened in Bangladesh if international communications were not disrupted due to the pandemic, he added.
The report also mentioned that in the last two fiscals, 706 Bangladeshi female migrant workers took shelter at a safe home in Jeddah, which is run by the consulate general.
Of them, 688 were repatriated.
Bangladeshi female migrant workers, who want to return home for various reasons and before their work permit ends, usually take temporary shelter at the safe home, Aminul said.
The report said at least 220 cases, involving 925 Bangladeshi expatriates, were disposed of at the Saudi labour court in last two fiscal years.
The consulate general provided legal support to the Bangladeshis in those cases.
Also, 32,603 Bangladeshi migrant workers were freed from deportation centres and jails and were sent back home following the consulate general's intervention between July 2019 and June 2021, the report added.