Support quarantine efforts - Army | Daily News


Support quarantine efforts - Army

The military has taken all measures to provide the best facilities for those subjected to quarantine under very short notice and passengers arriving from COVID-19 infected countries should cooperate with them in order to ensure that this epidemic does not spread in Sri Lanka, said Military Spokesman Brigadier Chandana Wickramasinghe.

He said the Government on a directive of the President, Health Ministry and the Ministry of Defence decided on the establishment of provisional quarantine centres in the wake of the looming ‘Covid-19’ threat, but irrational fears and protests continued to hamper those efforts.

However, the Army on the guidelines, given by Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, in less than 72 hours improvised two Centers, situated in isolated, remote and very less-populated Punani and Kandakadu areas for this specific purpose after equipping both Centers with all amenities and other facilities. Likewise, Lt. Gen. Silva, in close collaboration with others is in the process screening a few more suitable places to be used in future in the event of any emergencies.

He said that as a country Sri Lanka has taken the best efforts to ensure the safety of over 22 million of their citizens. Passengers arriving from South Korea, Italy and Iran will be housed at the Punani and Kandakadu facilities and the Military Spokesman urged those arriving in the country as well as the general public to extend their fullest cooperation to the military in safeguarding Sri Lanka from this deadly virus.

He said these quarantine facilities are being supervised by Consultant Specialist Dr. Shavin Semage who has been especially trained in this field.

“The medical teams under his supervision have been stationed at these two quarantine centres,” Brigadier Wickramasinghe said.

Meanwhile, addressing the media briefing at the Media Centre for National Security Police Media Director Superintendent of Police Jaliya Senaratne said the quarantine facilities have been established by the military in accordance with international standards. Hence, he urged the public to assist in this national endeavour by cooperating with the military. He also urged the media to consider this situation a national emergency and act responsibly in educating people on this situation and refrain from causing panic among the public. He noted that it was mandatory for those arriving from COVID-19 infected countries and said that if anyone fails to comply action would be taken against them under The Quarantine & Prevention of Diseases Ordinance chapter No.3 of 1897. Accordingly, in the event anyone refuses to cooperate with the quarantine measures they could be produced in court for failure to comply and could face a jail term of six months and a fine of Rs. 2000. However, he said that there is no need to resort to such measures and urged the public to cooperate with the measures taken by the health ministry and the tri forces to ensure the safety of the country and prevent the Coronavirus from spreading in the country. 

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