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Sri Lanka to review repatriation flights after Covid-19 spike from Kuwait

AIRLINE WOES: State-run SriLankan Airlines is among firms badly hit by Coronavirus.

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is planning to change the process of repatriating overseas nationals after a dozens of arrivals from Kuwait tested positive putting pressure on the health system, the President’s office said.

“The nature of the new system will be decided at a meeting scheduled to be held tomorrow. Flights in June to bring back Sri Lankans home will be planned accordingly,” the President’ office said Friday evening.

“Almost all the returnees from Kuwait were detainees at welfare centers or deportation centers in that country.

“It is also a requirement to provide medical treatments to the infected. In this context, it has been decided to revise the repatriation process for Sri Lankans living overseas.

“The Government has decided on humanitarian grounds to continue to bring back Sri Lankans in the future too considering their fate in the event of not having an opportunity to come home.”

Sri Lanka had tested 150 out of 462 who came from Kuwait and 96 had tested positive. More than 300 are yet to be tested.

Out of 197 who came from Dubai 20 had tested positive.

The head of Sri Lanka’s health system Anil Jasinghe had said that the pace of arrivals may have to be slowed. (Colombo/May26/2020)