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Sri Lanka Colombo port returning to normal despite Coronavirus hit: Chairman

ECONOMYNEXT – Operations at Colombo Port will be steadily brought back to normal over the week with extra staff brought in after a about 30 percent of Sri Lanka Ports Authority container terminal workers were placed in quarantine, Chairman Daya Ratnayake said.

“We had to quarantine about 30 percent of the staff of Jaye Container Terminal at their homes,” Retired General Ratnayake said in a statement.

“It is public knowledge that a number of Sri Lanka Ports Authority and other container terminal staff contracted Covid-19.

“It affected operations at the port to some degree. Due to lack of skilled staff we have brought in staff from manpower agencies and also extra staff.

“As a result operations are gradually coming back to normal.”

Reports said with some gantry crane operators, who do a highly skilled job, having fallen sick or been quarantined, port operations had slowed.

This had resulted in ships queuing up to enter the port. Sri Lanka’s Lankadeepa newspaper said about 200 staff were under quarantine and retired staff had also been brought back.

Meanwhile General Ratnayake said all staff confirmed with Covid-19 are in hospital and their contacts have been traced.

In addition, more random tests are being carried out to detect infections in any others.

Sri Lanka’s anti-Covid authorities have place several parts of the capital Colombo under isolation to stop the spread of Covid-19. Areas around the port are among the most badly hit. (Colombo/Nov15/2020)

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