Mandatory quarantine process starts today | Daily News


 

Arrivals from Italy, South Korea and Iran

Mandatory quarantine process starts today

* Batticaloa, Kandakadu centres now open
* All other passengers urged to self-quarantine
Chief of Defence Staff and Army Commander  Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva visited two centres in Punani and Kandakadu  where  foreigners and Sri Lankans returning from South Korea, Iran  and Italy  will be quarantined from today for Covid – 19. Security Forces – East Commander Major General Rasika Fernando was also present. Picture courtesy Army Media Unit

Chief of Defence Staff and Army Commander  Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva visited two centres in Punani and Kandakadu  where  foreigners and Sri Lankans returning from South Korea, Iran  and Italy  will be quarantined from today for Covid – 19. Security Forces – East Commander Major General Rasika Fernando was also present. Picture courtesy Army Media Unit

The programme to quarantine all visitors from COVID-19 hit Italy, South Korea, and Iran will start with the direct flight from South Korea this morning, Director-General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe said yesterday.

Addressing a press briefing at the Health Ministry, Dr. Jasinghe said passengers will be directed to the new Batticaloa and Kandakadu quarantine centres after a high level of disinfection of surface microbes.

He added that a 14 day review period will take place and the quarantine programme will continue for the other countries in the same manner that was done so far. “Around 3,900 people have been subjected to quarantine upto now by the Medical Health Officers and Public Health Officers.”

Airport and Aviation Services Chairman G.A.Chandrasiri and Health Ministry officials had had an extensive discussion regarding the operation.

“This is a complicated operation but this a complete quarantine programme. Passengers will be taken to the quarantine centers by buses and we are trying our best to categorize passengers according to their arrivals. Accordingly, all passengers will undergo a mandatory 14 day quarantine at these two centers with facilities from today onwards,” Dr. Jasinghe said.

Furthermore, he requested the public to refrain from travelling abroad until the situation improves. “Laws have not been implemented until now for travel bans. But the public must refrain from travelling abroad with groups until the situation eases,” he said. Moreover, passengers from all countries other than Italy, South Korea and Italy are also advised to undergo self-quarantine at their homes.

Meanwhile, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva says the Army in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health & Indigenous Medical Services and the Ministry of Defence has now finalized arrangements to quarantine foreigners and Sri Lankan expatriates arriving here accommodating at least 2000-2500 of them for a fortnight in two improvised quarantine Centres in Punani and Kandakadu, in addition to planned accommodation of 300 more in Diyatalawa as well in the event of any emergency.

Lt. General Shavendra Silva, together with Major General Rasika Fernando, Commander, Security Forces-East, Colonel (Dr) Savin Gamage, Deputy Director, Preventive Medicine & Mental Health Services of the Colombo Army Hospital, Health Ministry officials from Polonnaruwa and Batticaloa districts, Senior Tri Service and Police officers visited those two locations yesterday in order to assess their preparedness. The Commander on arrival received an update on the project, its logistics and readiness of the Army to undertake the execution of this responsibility.

Hundreds of Security Force personnel under the Security Force HQ-East have been upgrading the requirements in both quarantine Centres at Punani and Kandakadu. Those makeshift Quarantine Centres at Punani and Kandakadu, furnished with all facilities are spacious enough to keep at least 2000-2500 persons arriving directly from COVID-19 affected countries for the two-week long quarantine process.

Those quarantine locations are equipped with necessary medical tools, Wi-Fi communication facilities, thermometers, laundry and entertainment facilities. They will be manned by medical teams, equipped with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Those quarantine centres in Punani and Kandakadu were provisionally acquired for this national need by virtue of the powers, vested in the Director General of Ministry of Health & Indigenous Medical Services as the proper authority under the Quarantine and Prevention of Diseases Ordinance No. 3 of 1897.

This mega public health exercise in the East is implemented under the guidance of Colonel (Dr) Savin Gamage, Deputy Director, Preventive Medicine & Mental Health Services of the Colombo Army Hospital on the guidelines given by Major General Sanjeewa Munasinghe, Director General of Army Health Services.


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