He also says that they are registered with the Foriegn Ministry with the expectation of returning to Sri Lanka.
However, as of last Friday, 53,321 workers and students studying abroad had been brought to Sri Lanka, he says.
They have arrived in Sri Lanka from more than 126 countries since March 10, when the airport was closed for normal services.
They were brought to Sri Lanka through the Katunayake and Mattala airports and 10,874 of them arrived in Sri Lanka from Dubai.
They are the largest number of arrivals to Sri Lanka during the said period.
In addition, 5,431 came from Qatar, 4,917 from the Maldives, 3,400 from India, 2,954 from Australia and 1,699 from Kuwait.