Dozens of Sri Lankan citizens were left stranded at the Bucharest airport after they were fired from their jobs at a textile factory when one of their colleagues tested positive for coronavirus.
The 36 Sri Lankans were bussed to Bucharest from the northeastern city of Botosani to Bucharest on Sunday evening supposedly to catch a repatriation flight.
But there was no flight, and so they hung around for several hours. Sri Lanka’s airports are currently closed, and no commercial aircraft are flying there, media reported.
Labor Minister Violeta Alexandru went to the airport Sunday evening to see the situation first-hand.
“I have some questions about their departure to Bucharest,” she told reporters. “It wasn’t clear how they’d be embarked on the plane,” she said, adding she’d contact authorities in Botosani to see the circumstances of their dismissal and in what conditions they were sent to Bucharest.
The men were reportedly fired from the factory after one worker tested positive for coronavirus, and told they’d be sent back to Sri Lanka on a flight, local Digi24 reported. After they were dismissed, they were placed in institutionalized quarantine.
It was unclear who told the workers that they would be able ti return to their home country. Media reported their transport to the airport was organized by the Botosani prefecture.
The 36 workers were eventually housed at a hotel near the airport.