There is no postponement, but a slight delay in the repatriation flights scheduled for Sri Lankan migrants residing in the Middle East, a Foreign Ministry (FM) official said today.
Director General East Asia Kandeepan Balasubramaniam of the Foreign Ministry's focal point on COVID -19 Action speaking to the Daily Mirror said that there is no postponement of scheduled repatriation flights.
“There is no postponement but a slight delay, in order to reduce the pressure on local quarantine facilities. Even this week repatriation flights are due to arrive in Sri Lanka as scheduled,” he said.
Mr. Balasubramaniam said that the first repatriation flight from Israel scheduled for this week, has been rescheduled to arrive on September 3, noting that it was the only change in the schedule thus far.
A letter issued by the Sri Lankan Embassy in Tel-Aviv said that the Government of Sri Lanka had informed the Embassy of indefinite postponement of scheduled repatriation flights for the Middle East.
The Embassy informing Sri Lankan migrants willing to return to the country said that the decision was taken due to limited quarantine facilities.
The Embassy also requested the Sri Lankan migrants to remain calm until a new date is announced for the repatriation flight.
Mr. Balasubramaniam said that a periodical meeting of the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) to be held this evening would deliberate this matter further. (Kalani Kumarasinghe)