Spike in infections among Sri Lankans returning to the country

By Vyshnavy Velrajh

There has been a rapid increase of people infected with the coronavirus among Sri Lankans returning to the country, officials said.

Army Commander General Shavendra Silva told Colombo Gazette that 45 Sri Lankans who returned to the country were found to be infected by last evening (Friday).

He said concerns have been raised over the significant increase in the number of people infected with the coronavirus, during a meeting of the coronavirus task force held yesterday.

General Silva said however, the Government will not impose a restrictions on the number of people returning to Sri Lanka from overseas.

On a directive of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Foreign Ministry had this week reviewed the entry procedure as a measure of relief for prospective Sri Lankan returnees.

Under the new procedure, Sri Lankans, dual citizens who travel on Sri Lankan passports, spouses and unmarried children of Sri Lankans, who are foreigners, and Sri Lankan seafarers arriving by air will be permitted to enter Sri Lanka without prior approval of the Foreign Ministry and the Civil Aviation Authority.

The responsibility of maintaining a manageable number of passenger arrivals has however been entrusted with the Civil Aviation Authority, who will, through the respective airlines, regulate the numbers in a manner that would cope with the local capacities of quarantining and other logistics required.

All arriving passengers will be required to strictly adhere to health protocols and guidelines that are effective at the time of arrival. (Colombo Gazette)