Sri Lanka slows repatriation flights at airport as Covid-19 quarantine needs go up
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has slowed repatriation flights as a domestic cluster expands taking up quarantine capacity and SriLankan Airlines has also cancelled several outbound flights, officials said.
Sri Lanka’s Army Chief Shavendra Silva said 300 to 400 expatriate SriLankans were repatriated daily before a new cluster was discovered.
“We can house over 10,250 persons in 96 quarantine centres,” Silva told Sri Lanka’s Derana TV. “But with the new cluster we have to limit repatriation for some time.”
He said daily 300 to 400 persons had arrived in the country, sometime going up to 600 to 700 daily.
General Silva said the Army, Navy and Air Force had always expanded the quarantine capacity as needs went up, and they would be do the same.
“Nobody will be denied quarantine facilities if there is a requirement,” he said.
But to conserve space, arrivals would be curtained for a time, he said.
Several outbound SriLankan Airlines flights, which were to have brought in overseas Sri Lankans, had been cancelled.
However cargo flights would continue, an airline official said.
Airport staff was also tested after a janitorial staffer was confirmed with a Coronavirus infection.
An airport official said the airport was open and transit flights are operating.
On Saturday Sri Lanka found 103 new cases taking up total in the new Minuwangoda cluster to 1,186 cases. Another two foreign returnees were also confirmed.
Sri Lanka’s total Coronavirus count has gone up to 4,638 according to health ministry data with 13 deaths. (Colombo/Oct11/2020)