Sri Lanka bans seafarers from entering ports

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed the Minister of Foreign Relations Dinesh Gunawardena to halt the use of Sri Lankan Ports as transit points for international seafarers.

Co- Cabinet Spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardena said the order had been issued due to a group of international seafarers being detected with COVID-19 upon arrival in Sri Lanka.

Minister Gunawardena explained that the new patients had been included in the total number of patients detected in Sri Lanka, at a time when no new cases had been detected from within the country over a period of 48 hours.

Meanwhile, commenting on the repatriation of Sri Lankans overseas, Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena had briefed the Cabinet of Ministers that only a small percentage of Sri Lankans had requested to return to the country due to the global coronavirus outbreak, he said.

The Foreign Minister had said measures had been taken only to bring down Sri Lankans who had contacted the relevant embassies overseas requesting to return to Sri Lanka.

Minister Dinesh Gunawardena had further said out of 52, 401 Sri Lankan migrant workers who had requested to return to Sri Lanka, 9580 had been repatriated so far from 38 countries..

Further briefing the Cabinet of Ministers, the Foreign Minister had said more Sri Lankan migrant workers have been scheduled to be repatriated from 10 more countries in July, the Co- Cabinet Spokesman added. (Colombo Gazette)