The Sri Lankan chef who was aboard the cruise ship MSC Magnifica, was brought to the country by the Sri Lanka Navy this morning.
Posting a social media post yesterday, the chef requested the government to allow him to disembark the ship and enter the country when the cruise ship makes a stop at the Colombo Port.
The Navy Spokesperson said the chef was sent to Boossa for quarantine after being disembarked.
The navy also said a Sri Lankan national performing duties aboard the cruise ship MSC ‘Magnifica’ has recently made a request over social media to get him back to Sri Lanka. Accordingly, with the blessing of the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and direct involvement of Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva, the Navy safely retrieved the Sri Lankan and brought him to the Colombo harbour today (06th April 2020).
The vessel, which set sail on 05th January 2020, with about 2700 crew and passengers aboard, had to cancel its tour while in Australia, due to the worldwide coronavirus epidemic. Since the ship was not accepted by any port of a country, the ship has subsequently decided to set sail to Italy, where the parent company is located.
During the course of a journey to Italy, the ship was scheduled to arrive at the port of Colombo for replenishment. It is in this backdrop, Anura Bandara Herath, the only Sri Lankan on board the cruise ship, requested to bring him back to Sri Lanka. As a result of the timely intervention of the President, a team of Navy's Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Unit was dispatched to the passenger ship which was about 4.4 nautical miles (09km) off the port of Colombo and the Sri Lankan was safely retrieved and transferred ashore this morning. Meanwhile, a 75 year old German female passenger suffering from a heartache onboard the MSC ‘Magnifica’ was also safely brought ashore by the Navy.
Subsequently, the event was informed to the Presidential Task Force on prevention of COVID-19 and upon its directives the Sri Lankan and the ill German woman were disinfected on the harbour premises in accordance with proper sterilization procedures. Subsequently, the Sri Lankan was directed to the Boossa Naval Quarantine Centre for 21 days of quarantine following all safety guidelines.
Meanwhile the German woman was rushed to the National Hospital Colombo for treatment. In a bid to be prepared for such eventuality, a formal training programme was conducted on 13th of March at the Colombo Port premises by Navy in collaboration with the Ports Authority and the Health Ambulance Service of “Suwa Sariya”. As Sri Lankans, it is a matter to be happy to retrieve the one and only Sri Lankan national aboard, in circumstances where at no time has the ship been accepted by any port in the world.
Upon disembarkation, Anura Bandara Herath expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the Sri Lankan government, the President and Sri Lanka Navy for taking prompt action to get him back to Sri Lanka.
He must be a very happy chef. Hope he will dish out something for the Navy Personnel at Boosa after the period of Quarantine.
Some good news..................
Dhammika Monday, 06 April 2020 11:37 AM
Thanks a lot SL Navy . Saving another son of Lanka .
A Monday, 06 April 2020 11:40 AM
Weldone HE president
Don Monday, 06 April 2020 11:55 AM
Humanity at it best.. thank u for every individual who is helping each other for our own survival. This is the Holy Week as per Christianity and Jesus will deliver us once again this Friday and we will have a new begging on Easter Sunday. Bless u all.
Sajith Tuesday, 07 April 2020 01:00 AM
We should thank the Field Marshal Fonseka for his "skill" in organising this and the dedication of Health Minister Rajitha for prompt action under the excellent guidance of President Premadasa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe who put the nation first in this time of calamity. CIDs Shani and Kandapth have done a excellent job coordinating with Corona Task Force head Ranjan in shutting down social media
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