Avant Garde Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi said he was prepared to operate a floating hospital and surgery to facilitate the repatriation of Sri Lankan migrant workers.
Senadhipathi said that he is currently in discussion with Sri Lankan authorities to initiate the proposed programme.
"About a month earlier, a plan was in place to repatriate migrant workers in an emergency situation such as this one. Therefore communications and documentation were in place to prepare cruise liners as floating hospitals or corona centres," he said.
Senadhipathi said discussions are underway to launch cruise liners with the capacity to carry 10,000 persons. If the President approves the suggested project, the cruise liners would be sent to several Middle Eastern countries where the ships would be docked at ports of the respective countries. The ships would serve as floating quarantine centres for a period of 14 days, following which, migrant workers would be offloaded in Sri Lanka after PCR tests.
"We had several discussions as to what could be done in the event the situation worsens. I have discussed these measures with the UAE Embassy as well as the Foreign Secretary. We have suggested for at least ten thousand migrant workers to be quarantined aboard four of such ships," Senadhipathi added. (Kalani Kumarasinghe)