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New mechanism to repatriate Sri Lankans: PMD

26 May 2020 09:23 pm - 7     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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A new mechanism is to be formulated to repatriate Sri Lankans who are stranded or faced with various difficulties in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the President’s Media Division said.

In a statement, it 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 programme to bring back Sri Lankans who are undergoing many hardships due to the global spread of the virus commenced in last January under the guidance of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Around 33 Sri Lankans including students arrived from Wuhan, China on February 1. They left for their homes after successfully completing the quarantine process. A total of 839 Sri Lankan pilgrims who were stranded in several cities in India reached home on March 19th.

By May 25, a total of 5,485 Sri Lankans from 20 different countries were brought back. Out of the total, 4,826 have been identified by the Ministry of Foreign Relations and Sri Lankan missions overseas. Only five or 0.01% out of them were found to be infected following diagnosis.

However, out of 197 who returned recently from Dubai, United Arab Emirates 20 were tested COVID-19 positive while 150 out of 462 came from Kuwait were subjected to PCR tests and 96 persons tested positive. More than 300 are yet to undergo testing.

Almost all the returnees from Kuwait were detainees at welfare centres or deportation centres 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,” the statement said.

The Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe, Additional Secretary on Foreign Relations, Presidential Secretariat Admiral Jayanath Colombage, Specialist Epidemiologist Pabha Palihawadana and Director, Medical Research Institute Dr. Jayaruwan Bandara will participate in tomorrow’s discussion.

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  Comments - 7

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  • neil alwis Wednesday, 27 May 2020 04:14 AM

    lift this 14 day compulsory quarantine those who come from australia and make it just a self quarantine. the arrivals can be tested at the airport

    Dee Wednesday, 27 May 2020 09:28 AM

    Remember what happened with the Italy returnees?

    Daya weerasinghe Wednesday, 27 May 2020 06:49 AM

    The head line is misleading. The so called new mechanism is to be formulated. As such no mechanism is in place All what is seen is trial

    Leonard Woolf Wednesday, 27 May 2020 08:20 AM

    More flights, more voters, more Covid We reach 5000 soon. Ohoma yan..

    Sokrates Wednesday, 27 May 2020 08:53 AM

    More Sri Lankans who are undergoing many hardships due to the global spread of the virus are living inside the country than abroad. All who are "stranded" in other countries left Sri Lanka voluntary and have good jobs. Now they have to manage the situation by their own. At least the government shall not waste taxpayers money for these people and charge them the real flight costs to bring them back.

    Sunil UAE Wednesday, 27 May 2020 09:07 AM

    Bull crap republic as usual, foreign income earners aren’t valued enough, albeit being Srilanka’s no 1 revenue generators. What a tragedy

    Premalal Perera Wednesday, 27 May 2020 10:45 AM

    Carting everyone to quarantine centres in busses is the worst possible option. If one is infected then many will catch it by the end of the journey. It is best to test everyone at the airport and send them for self quarantine. This way only the ones tested positive could be treated while others are not put at risk.


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