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Gafoor building Navy contingent quarantined after Sailor tests positive for COVID 19

ECONOMYNEXT – The COVID 19 Task Force has placed the Navy garrison stationed in the Gaffoor Building in the heart of Colombo Fort under quarantine after a sailor stationed there was found to be infected with the virus.

The Colonel Media Vjitha Hettiarachchi told EconomyNext that the sailor had tested positive and further PCR tests are being done on the other personnel in the Gafoor building.

He also added that Army and Police Special Task Force Quick Reaction Ride teams are continuing to carry out random temperature checks on people in many parts of the country.

These teams were first deployed in the last week of April to carry out spot temperature checks around Colombo.

They have come back into focus after a social media post by a young woman Facebook user Chamathka Ratnayake who said she was aggressively accosted by STF personnel who took her temperature and also photographed her.

In her posting she said “I’m deeply appreciative of all the efforts being carried out to eradicate this virus and am aware of my social responsibility to keep others and myself safe. But under whose authority did they invade my personal space and take pictures/videos of me? Should I be made to feel this uncomfortable and harassed by people who are supposed to be keeping us safe?”

Ratnayake got a lot of support from her FB friends, including Jalani Premadasa and her sister-in-law Dulanjalee Jayakody who felt that the officers had overstepped their mark.

Dr Tushara Wickramanayaka commented that there is no need for anyone driving along in a vehicle to wear a mask and the officers had no right to photograph or video a person without permission.

Col Hettiarachchi told EconomyNext everybody must “realise that what we are doing is for the common good.” (Colombo, May 28, 2020)

Reported by Arjuna Ranawana

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