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Deported COVID 19 positive Indian passenger hospitalised at IDH

ECONOMYNEXT – A Bombayite is a guest of the Sri Lankan government, not in the sense of an incarcerated person or an invited personage.

Now he is in a Sri Lankan Healthcare facility because of an unusual circumstance.

The passenger, according to the authorities arrived in Colombo from Mumbai on an Indigo Flight at 5:30 in the evening of Wednesday Jun 17.

He was in transit and left for Doha on a Qatar Airways flight 669 in the early hours of June 18.

Transit passengers are not checked for COVID 19 symptoms at the Bandaranaike International Airport.

Then, he was deported by the Qatari authorities because he was found to be COVID 10 positive on arrival.

He left Doha on QR – 668 and arrived at 1:35 in the morning at the BIA.

As he was COVID 19 positive on arrival in Colombo, Sri Lanka found him a bed at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases at Angoda, where he is now.

“Any foreigner who arrives in Sri Lanka with symptoms of COVID or tests positive for the disease is immediately hospitalized,” Colonel (Media) of the Sri Lanka Army Vijitha Hettiarachchi told EconomyNext.

Sri Lanka honoured the Montreal Convention, under Article 17, officials said and the passenger was admitted to the IDH within 45 minutes of arrival at BIA.

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Diplomats we spoke to were surprised that the passenger was deported from Doha to Sri Lanka and not back to India.

It is surprising he was deported at all, because the usual practice for passengers arriving with the infection to be sent to the hospital in the port of entry.

Under World Health Organisation guidelines the sick passenger has to be treated on arrival.

Hettiarachchi, who is the spokesman for the Presidential Task Force for the prevention of COVID 19 told EconomyNext “this is Sri Lankan hospitality.” (Colombo, June 18, 2020)

Reported by Arjuna Ranawana