Short staying suspended for seafarers in transfer via special flights

25 June 2020 07:12 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The government has decided to suspend short staying of foreign seafarers when transferring through the country in special flights, following the detection of several COVID-19 positive seafarers who arrived from India.

About 20 Indian and seven Sri Lankan seafarers arrived from Mumbai three days ago had tested positive for COVID-19 after PCR tests were conducted on them on arrival in Sri Lanka. A total of 122 seafarers arrived in the said flight to the country from Mumbai.

Admiral Professor Jayanath Colombage, the Additional Secretary to the President for Foreign Relations, told the Daily Mirror that Sri Lanka allowed the transfer of seafarers in a situation where many other countries had halted the process.

“We first facilitated Sri Lankan seafarers and allowed others also to use our ports and airports to transfer seafarers, if they are interested. The 122 seafarers had undergone PCR testing in India which were found negative for the virus. However, more than 20 were tested positive when they were tested again in Sri Lanka,” he said.

Accordingly, the President has ordered to suspend the process of allowing foreign seafarers into country if they are to stay for a short while.

However, Admiral Colombage said bulk transfer of seafarers would continue through ports given that they are directly transferred to the respective vessel. (Lahiru Pothmulla)

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