Nepal is already facing a shortage of test kits owing to delays in procurement. Only 67,066 tests have been conducted so far, out of which only 14,096 are through PCR kits. These numbers need to be ramped up to reliably test thousands of returnees. Experience has shown workers may also have to deal with stigmatisation when they get home.
The Philippines had started repatriating 2,000 of its workers daily, but on 3 May it had to cancel pre-scheduled flights for a week after running out of 14 day quarantine space in Manila.
The Philippines has now expanded testing capacity from the current 5,000/day to 30,000/day by end of May, and required all returnees to undergo PCR tests and not the less reliable Rapid Diagnostic Tests. Those who test negative will be released to undergo a mandatory 14-day home-based quarantine.
Nepal relaxing lockdown afterall, Nepali Times
Pakistan has begun repatriating 7,500 citizens a week, but is also constrained by quarantine capacity. There are 100,000 Pakistanis stranded across 88 countries and 15,000 have been repatriated so far. The country is struggling to deal with COVID-19 cases among returnees from the Gulf, especially from the UAE despite allowing only those who test negative to board flights home. Last week, 105 out of the 209 passengers in an Etihad Airways flight from Abu Dhabi to Islamabad tested positive for the virus.
India is starting repatriation flights on Thursday for its nationals from 12 countries including, the Gulf, Malaysia and the United States, and is also using naval ships to bring them home. The plan is to bring back up to 2,500 workers a day to 10 airports in India where they will be quarantined for 14 days.
The Foreign Employment Board estimates that over 120,000 workers from the Gulf and Malaysia will need to be repatriated immediately due to job loss, contract completion, because they are part of amnesty programs.