Exiting Sri Lanka nationals to get free Covid-19 tests in Lebanon
ECONOMYNEXT – Lebanon has agreed to do free Coronavirus tests for exiting Sri Lanka nationals in the country, the Foreign Ministry said with rising job losses in the Middle Eastern nations whose currency has plunged amid money printing.
The decision had came after Ambassador Shani Calyaneratne Karunaratne had discussions with the Lebanese Minister of Labour, Madame Lamia Yammine.
“Ambassador requested assistance from Lebanon to conduct the PCR test on a free of charge basis enabling the Embassy to prepare for the returnees to leave,” a statement from Sri Lanka’s embassy in Beirut said..
“The Minister requested the list of persons already submitted to the Directorate of General Security (Immigration Department) for clearance for exit visa and also requested the intervention of the Labour Ministry for an exemption for penalties. ”
The Minister agreed to look in to the requests and inquired about the 24 hour telephone hot lines maintained by the Embassy.”
The Lebanese Ministry of Labour had said that a PCR test for Sri Lankans would be done at a fee of 20 dollars instead of the regular 100 dollars if they are returning on June 04.
A later Cabinet decision has said the fee would be waived at Sri Lanka’s request.
“Among matters discussed were the COVID-19 outbreak and the Sri Lankan migrant workers, the economic crisis in Lebanon, the non-availability of work for undocumented workers, unpaid salaries and health issues of migrant workers,” the statement said.
“They further discussed the temporary measures taken by the Embassy to cushion the shock faced by the workers by distributing food rations to the neediest spread across Lebanon.”
Lebanon was hit by monetary instability before the Coronavirus pandemic erupted. (Colombo/June06/2020)