Registration process for vaccination of outbound workers, who are on the priority list of people to be vaccinated, has begun while the process of vaccination may start from the next week.
“Registration of the outbound workers for coronavirus vaccination is going on. Expatriate workers are being included in the surokkha app. Any outbound worker aged 20 and above can register here. No NID will be required to register,” said Dr Ahmed Munirus Saleheen, secretary of the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment.According to the ministry, any worker aged less than 18 has no way to go abroad legally. Therefore, they will allow for registration of the workers who have all legal documents.
Director General of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Prof Dr ABM Khurshid Alam said, “We have been registering names of expatriate workers for vaccination for the last four/five days. The Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment has provided us with a list of outbound workers and we have posted the list on our website. Now, the outbound workers can register visiting our website.”
“The process of registration has been going through a separate website and we don’t want to disclose the list to all. Only those who are expatriate workers can register their names through their ministry,” he added.
“Though we cannot state a specific date at the moment, we are hopeful that we would begin the vaccination from the next week,” he said, adding that it has not yet been decided which vaccine will be given to the expatriates but the authorities will try to manage Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for them.
According to Foyez Ahmed, Director of registration of expatriate workers and an official of Management Information System (MIS) at DGHS, a separate ‘foreigner’ tab has been introduced for the expatriate workers on the surokkha website. They can register there.
“In case of registration, the list of names of outbound worker has to come to us through the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment. Once their list is added to the website, they will be able to register,” he said.Foyez Ahmed also said that they have given a separate format to the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment regarding the required information for registration. “Accordingly, they will send detailed information of the expatriates, including their passport numbers, country’s name, visa numbers, last date of visa and mobile number currently used in Bangladesh. Then if we add this information to our white list, expatriate workers will be able to register within two/three days,” he added.
Though no formal statement is given yet regarding the specific hospital or vaccination centre, sources at the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) have said that the vaccination may start from the next week at Sheikh Russel National Gastroliver Institute & Hospital in Mohakhali.
Two ministries are yet to decide whether the vaccination campaign for expatriate workers will be spread to the divisional or district level or not as they are still in the initial phase of the whole process.
Many countries are making the vaccination certificate of expatriate workers mandatory amid the global coronavirus situation. Manpower sector experts predict that almost all countries will impose the same condition for entry of workers in the coming months.
In such a situation, thousands of stranded expatriate workers staged a demonstration in front of the District Employment and Manpower Office in Chattogram on June 22, demanding confirmation of vaccination.
With the same demand, a similar protest programme was staged in front of the Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry on Thursday.
The protesters said it is necessary to ensure immediate vaccination of expatriate workers to secure the national interest.