The Army has defended the ongoing quarantine process despite minor lapses after some returnees took to social media and complained over the facilities provided to them.
In a video posted on Facebook some returnees said that they had not been taken to the Batticaloa campus quarantine centre as earlier expected, but to another location.
In a media statement, the Army said that it had to make arrangements to accommodate a number of returnees from Italy, South Korea and Iran in improvised quarantine centres at Punani and Kandakadu.
The Army said that the Government on a directive of the President, Health Ministry and the Ministry of Defence, decided to establish provisional quarantine centres in the wake of the looming coronavirus threat, but irrational fears and protests continued to hamper those efforts.
The Army said that it setup two centres in isolated, remote and very less-populated Punani and Kandakadu after equipping both centres with all amenities and other facilities.
The Army said that when transporting the returnees to the two centres it had to face many hurdles in terms of vehicles needed for their transport and the provision of refreshments and meals as some of the individuals had refused to agree for a stopover en route to the East.
Despite those challenges, escorting Army troops provided them with refreshments and lunch from reputed hotels.
By Tuesday (10) afternoon, Colonel (Dr) Shaveen Gamage, Deputy Director, Preventive Medicine and Mental Health Services of the Colombo Army Hospital, along with a team of 6 Army doctors, took charge to quarantine 305 returnees, including 2 foreign nationals (father and son) who had arrived from South Korea and Italy in the past 24 hours.
The Sri Lanka Army appealed to all those under quarantine to fully support the pivotal national requirement at this critical hour irrespective of minor shortfalls or lapses in the implementation of the 14-day long quarantine process. (Colombo Gazette)