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Korean envoy says Sri Lanka among safest countries in the world in Covid-19 pandemic

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is one of the safest countries in the world to live in during the Coronavirus pandemic, Korea’s ambassador the Indian Ocean island, Woonjin Jeong had said.

The ambassador had believed that Korea was the safest country in the world until he came to Sri Lanka during a meeting with a group of 22 Sri Lankans who were going to Korea to work.

He had been impressed by measures taken by Sri Lanka to stop the spread of Covid-19, the Korea embassy said in a statement.

Sri Lanka aggressively traced and quarantined all foreign arrivals and also stamped out two clusters involving a military base and a drug rehabilitation camp run involving military personnel.

Sri Lanka’s new Coronavirus cases are all from repatriated Sri Lankans. Up to September 22, Sri Lanka had confirmed 3,315 cases and 13 had died.

In Korea 23,216 cases had been confirmed and 388 had died.

Sri Lanka, Vietnam (1,068, 35 deaths), Cambodia (275 cases, zero deaths, Laos 23 cases, zero deaths) which had close links with China were among few countries to restrict travel from Wuhan and quarantine arrivals in January 2020 and then block arrivals from Western nations in March.

No Korean resident in Sri Lanka had got Covid-19 or any Sri Lanka returnees, ambassador Woonjin Jeong had said.

He stated that he had met several Sri Lankan employees in Korea and was deeply moved by their skills and performance. Approximately 23,000 Sri Lankan workers are employed in Korea under the country’s Employment Permit System (EPS).

The ambassador had said he hoped to expand the number of Sri Lanka migrant workers in the near future.

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R K Randeniya, Deputy General Manager of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment said following an agreement signed with Korea in 2004, about 100,000 Sri Lankans had used the EPS system, acquiring skills and benefits. (Colombo/Sept22/2020-sb)