March 4: The government is preparing to stop sending migrant workers to countries affected by coronavirus.
The Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security is hold a discussion with Ministry of Foreign Affairs to stop sending migrant workers to China, South Korea, Japan, Iran, Italy, Kuwait and Bahrain for the time being.
Rameshwar Rays Yadav, minister for labor, employment and social security, informed New Business Age that the ministry has initiated discussions with Ministry of Foreign Affairs to halt work permit approval for Nepali migrant workers travelling to coronavirus-affected countries.
“During a meeting held on Tuesday (March 3), the ministries discussed about halting the work permit for Nepali workers going abroad for work in coronavirus affected zones,” he informed. However, the decision is yet to be finalized.
According to Minister Yadav, the government does not want to take chance of sending workers to countries where there is high risk of infection. The government has also issued a travel advisory to its citizens not to travel to countries affected by the deadly disease unless it is absolutely necessary.
"Even if they go, they will have to eventually come back to Nepal because the countries have been returning foreigners due to the risk of coronavirus infection. We have started discussions to make a policy-level decision in this regard," he said.
The minister further said that workers have not been able to travel to South Korea after the outbreak of coronavirus there. So far, the government has not made any decision whether to send the workers to South Korea or not.
“However, we are preparing to postpone the date of sending the workers to South Korea,” the minister added.