The threat from the COVID-19 within the society is almost basically over in Sri Lanka and authorities have formulated a plan to prevent a fresh threat emerging within the public from the infected persons who are being repatriated from overseas, Army Commander. Lt. General Shavendra Silva told Daily Mirror yesterday.
Silva said that Sri Lanka was committed in getting back all its nationals stranded overseas, as many wanted to return back home as Sri Lanka had adapted one of the best strategies to eliminate the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Army Chief said that repatriations would continue but all those being brought back home would be tested at the BIA and those who test positive will be transferred to hospital from the airport, while the rest will be transported to the quarantine centers for a mandatory 14 to 21 day period. They will not come in contact with society.
"During the travels, the virus can be transmitted from infected persons to others in the group. So anyway they will have to be quarantined for a minimum of 14 days as according to the doctors they may show symptoms after 7 days if they are COVID positive. Even before leaving the quarantine centers, they will be tested once again and only once they are cleared will they be allowed to get back to society," Silva said.
"We have to bring our people back. They are our nationals. They want to come here because they feel insecure their. Because they have lost their jobs etc. Sri Lanka is doing very well where the global COVID-19 situation is concerned. Because of this our people want to come back home. So we have to facilitate that, but government will facilitate in such a way where it will not affect the population here. In a logical, organized manner," the Army Chief added.
Commenting further on the navy cluster, Silva said that the spread within the cluster was contained within the naval forces and this too would not pose a threat on society. Further he said the army soldiers who had in recent days tested positive for the virus had been sent in for treatment while all those who had come in contact with the soldiers had been sent into quarantine.
"It is totally under control as of now. But people will have to ensure that all the health guidelines will be strictly followed at all times," Silva said.
Till last evening, over 1,600 COVID-19 positive patients were reported in the country out of which over 800 were recovered and released. A majority of those in hospital in recent days are those who have returned from Kuwait.
According to health ministry officials, a majority of the patients, repatriated from overseas, had shown symptoms while some are under critical care. (Jamila Husain)