Coronavirus: UK launches its first rescue flights to Bangladesh

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Bangladeshi woman crosses sanitation tunnel in Dhaka

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EPA

Legend

Mobile sanitation tunnels have been installed around the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka


The British in Bangladesh will be able to return home on four repatriation flights this week – the first organized from the country in the midst of the coronavirus crisis – the Foreign Ministry confirmed.

He said flights from Dhaka to London will depart on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and next Sunday.

There will be a total of 850 seats, at a charge of £ 600 each.

Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said officials were working “24 hours a day” to bring travelers home.

More than 2,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Bangladesh with 84 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Restrictions have been placed on movement in refugee camps and on aid workers across the country.

Robert Dickson, the British high commissioner in Bangladesh, said that arrangements were being made to help transfer a number of British citizens from the northeastern town of Sylhet.

Domestic flights between Sylhet and the capital Dhaka will be included in the overall cost of charter flights for those who need them.

British travelers to Bangladesh can reserve seats through a dedicated website.

“Keep your flights running”

While the foreign ministry has already repatriated thousands of stranded people in India and Pakistan in recent days, it was the first flight it has chartered from Bangladesh.

Another 17 return flights from India will take place between April 20 and 27, while another 10 flights from Pakistan will take off between April 21 and 27.

The Department of Foreign Affairs had estimated between 300,000 and one million Britons traveling abroad after the coronavirus was declared pandemic in March.

Raab said: “Since the coronavirus epidemic in Wuhan, we have helped over a million British citizens to get home on commercial flights – supported by our work with airlines and foreign governments to maintain service flights.

“Our special agreement with the airlines has allowed us to return thousands more. Now I can announce the next 31 flights from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh that will allow an additional 7,000 Britons to return home safely. “

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