More than 1L Keralites left Bahrain during COVID pandemic: Study
More than 100,000 Indian expatriates from Kerala have left Bahrain during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study conducted by Indian economist and social scientist Dr B A Prakash, local media reported.
According to the study titled, ‘COVID-19 Pandemic and Exodus of Keralite Migrant Workers from the Gulf’, more than 1,471,000 Indians left Gulf countries during the pandemic period. The vast majority of those who left GCC states were from Saudi Arabia (50 per cent), followed by the UAE (19 per cent), Qatar (11 per cent), Oman and Bahrain (7 per cent) and Kuwait (6 per cent).
The Economist pointed out that loss of income and other expenditure of family resulted in a recession in the local economy.
The study has revealed that 54 per cent who came on leave could not return due to COVID-19 disruptions. The majority of them from Oman, Kuwait and Qatar came on leave but were not able to return.
It is reported that nearly one-third of returnees lost their jobs due to the closure of companies and business units.
Most of them worked in the Gulf countries for more than ten years and were forced to return to Kerala due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They were not sure about going back to the countries where they worked.
In 2021, at least 500 Indians died in Bahrain, the biggest death toll on record. Indians are the Kingdom’s largest immigrant community.
The majority of the victims died as a consequence of medical complications caused by COVID-19 infection.