15th March 2020 19:41:35 Hours
Shouldering the national responsibility for assisting the quarantining of returnees against transmission of COVID-19 on the directions of Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff & Commander of the Army, Army troops playing a prominent role, together with stakeholders in the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Defence, Office of the Western Province Governor, Ministry of Foreign Relations, Sri Lanka Aviation and Airport Authority, Department of Immigration and Emigration, Sri Lanka Police, Sri Lanka Air Force, Sri Lanka Transport Board and other relevant agencies have so far established 12 Quarantine Centres (QCs) across the country.
Considering the fast swelling numbers of returnees, troops have so far improvised Quarantine Centres in Pompemadu, Punani, Kandakadu, Panichchankerni, 18 Sri Lanka National Guard camp at Meeyankulam, Borawewa, Galkanda, Kahagolla, Army Base Hospital Diyatalawa, Gemunu Watch camp at Diyatalawa and just opened two Quarantine Centres in Damminna and Rantembe to meet with needs at this critical hour of our society.
As at 1800 hrs on Sunday (15), a total of 1723 persons, categorized as singles, males, females, families with kids and foreign nationals are being quarantined at those Centres under the close supervision of medical teams, most of which have been coordinated by Colonel (Dr) Shaveen Semage, Deputy Director, Preventive Medicine and Mental Health Services of the Army. Eight foreigners are among those now under quarantine in these Centers.Those Quarantine Centres are equipped with hand sanitizes, WiFi facilities, TVs, water boilers, fans, washing machines, towel racks, fridges, newspapers, special cooking arrangements for kids and pregnant women, etc.
Police and the Army appeal to returnees who arrived in Sri Lanka during 1-9 March 2020 to immediately ring the Hotline 113 or 117 or the nearest Police Station for more updates and seek assistance for quarantining without any further delay since their lives as well as their beloved ones would be at risk in the absence of such quarantine.
Meals cooked by Army chefs and cooks are closely prepared, tested and tasted by Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) and nutritionists of the Army before they are served to the transients in those Centres.
The Rantembe Quarantine Centre and Damminna Quarantine Centre, just a few hours ago on Sunday (15) evening turned functional to accommodate 600 and 125 transients respectively. To this hour, a total of 11 returnees have been confirmed positive and are confined to IDH and other hospitals.
“We are operating these Quarantine Centers as per instructions of HE the President who is constantly in touch with us. Anyone feeling that any injustice is meted out to any of those transients, they can inform or contact us. We would do our best to address the concerns. What all of they should understand is that what the Army doing is a service without jeopardizing the lives of 22 million of our people. Unless Quarantine is done, it could be a threat to the rest of the society. All of you quarantined are not at all virus-affected patients, either nor have you been so far diagnosed to be so,” Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva was quoted in a TV Talk Show this morning (15). (Ends)