Stranded Bangladeshis return home from the UK

Ansar Ahmed Ullah
Contributing Editor,Shottobani

London: A Bangladesh government special chartered flight, BG 4041, departed London on Sunday at 7:45 pm local time for Dhaka, carrying 125 Bangladeshis who were stranded in the United Kingdom since suspension of international flights between Dhaka and London in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. Most of the returning passengers are students from Bangladesh.

Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK Saida Muna Tasneem saw off the returning passengers at the Heathrow Airport. The flight will land at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Monday morning. Earlier at the request of Bangladesh High Commission London, the government arranged the flight, being operated by the national carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines and chartered by Bangladesh Air Force Welfare Trust.

London High Commission facilitated return of the Bangladeshis after forming a COVID-19 Emergency Repatriation Committee. Initially, more than 200 stranded Bangladeshi citizens, including students booked their flight, but many of them had cancelled their booking at the very last moment citing personal reasons and in the fear of institutional quarantine in Bangladesh on their arrival. However, London High Commission has already provided all the passengers with a health certificate based on their health assessment so that they would be directed to home quarantine only. Similarly, the High Commission has organised for all passengers travelling from Dhaka to London that they would be guided to home quarantine.

Commenting on the flight, the High Commissioner said, ‘We are grateful to Bangladesh Government and the Bangladesh Air Force in particular for chartering this flight. From the High Commission, we are humbly gratified that we could reunite the Bangladeshi citizens, in particular students, stranded in the UK with their families in Bangladesh before the Eid-ul-Fitr festival.’

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