Army appeals to quarantined Lankans to support the process

FILE PHOTO – Students from Wuhan arrivng at Qurantine facilties in Diyatalawa. All students from South Asia also now in Quarantine

ECONOMYNEXT- The Sri Lanka Army is appealing to all those under quarantine to fully support this pivotal national need at this critical hour, irrespective of minor shortfalls or lapses in the process.

In a Media statement, the Army said that Sri Lanka, being one of the few countries to bring her citizens home safely from ‘Covid-19’ – affected Chinese Wuhan province earlier than others is set to  accomplish effective quarantine procedures.

Sri Lanka is “accommodating three-digit numbers, arriving from virus-threatened Italy, South Korea and Iran in the improvised Quarantine Centres at Punani and Kandakadu,” it added.

The statement also said irrational fears and protests continued to hamper the efforts by the Government to establish provisional quarantine centres in the wake of the looming ‘Covid-19’ threat,

The Army improvised two Centers, situated in isolated, remote and very sparesly populated Punani and Kandakadu areas in in less than 72 hours for this specific purpose after equipping both Centers with all amenities and other facilities,” the statement said.

Further, it said during the passage of those expatriates, the Army had to face many hurdles in terms of vehicles, needed for their transport and provision of refreshments and meals as some of the public was vehemently refusing even for a stopover en route to the East.

“Despite those challenges, escorting Army troops provided them with refreshments and lunch from reputed hotels. This was an attempt of national importance to isolate them purely for the quarantine process as none of them has been confirmed positive or contagious as of now,”

It said that by yesterday afternoon, Colonel (Dr) Shaveen Gamage, Deputy Director, Preventive Medicine and Mental Health Services of the Colombo Army Hospital, along with a team of 6 Army doctors, took charge of quarantine of all those 305 expatriates, including 2 foreign nationals (father and son) who had arrived from South Korea and Italy in the past 24 hours, identical to how those Army medical experts previously managed with the Diyatalawa inmates.

In the past 24 hours, escorted by the Police, STF and Army personnel, buses carried 281 of those persons by road to the East while a batch of 24 more expatriates was flown in a Mi 17 helicopter at the initial stage.

“This completely free quarantine process, perhaps one of the firsts to be launched with no cost to the person without causing any indifference or embarrassment whatsoever to any of those passengers is completely effected for their own best interests as well as for their fellow-Sri Lankan populace at large, rightly assessing the grave threat posed due to this fast swelling epidemic of ‘Covid-19’ virus at global level,” the statement said.(Colombo/Mar11/2020)

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Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe

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