Repatriation of Sri Lankans: Halted for 3-4 days

The Presidential Secretariat has stated that the ongoing Sri Lankan migrant worker and student repatriation is to be halted from tomorrow (14) onwards for a period of three to four days.

“Given the increasing number of Covid-19 cases that are reported from the Kandakadu Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre, which was used as a Quarantine Centre, the Government has decided to temporarily halt the repatriation programme. Since the country relaxed its travel restrictions and commenced the repatriation process, closer to 16,000 Sri Lankans from 65 countries were able to return,” Additional Secretary to the President for Foreign Relations (Retd.) Admiral Jayanath Colombage told The Morning.

He further stated that considering the present situation, the team that is overlooking Covid-19 prevention and control, comprising the tri-forces and healthcare officials, will be given sufficient time to set up additional quarantine facilities to house the returning Sri Lankans once the repatriation commences.

“In the next few hours, two flights are expected to arrive from the Maldives and Jordan which will bring in nearly 500 Sri Lankans; this will be the last flights before the temporary halt is imposed on 14 July. Once the patients who are reported from the Kandakadu cluster are brought under control and sufficient facilities and staff can be allocated for the returning Sri Lankans, we will recommence the repatriation programme,” Colombage reiterated.