Over 81,000 Lankans repatriated under Govt’s program | Sunday Observer
Covid-19 pandemic:

Over 81,000 Lankans repatriated under Govt’s program

7 February, 2021

Over 81,000 Sri Lankans have been repatriated since the Government commenced its program to bring down migrant workers who were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, Army Commander General Shavendra Silva said yesterday. More people will be repatriated depending on the requests by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Sri Lankan diplomatic missions, General Silva who is also the Head of the National Operation Centre for Prevention Covid-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) told the Sunday Observer.

“We can only bring d own a limited number of people in each stage. At present, the maximum holding capacity at the state-run quarantine centres is 8,000 and already there are 7,000 occupants”.

The total capacity in quarantine centres across the island was initially 12,000, but later some centres were converted into intermediate care centres to treat Covid-19 patients.

“With the large number of patients, we needed more hospital beds. We lost around 5,000 beds when we converted the quarantine centres into intermediate care centres,” General Silva said.

The NOCPCO has reserved 500 to 700 beds for emergency use while another 700 beds were sent to quarantine centres in Jaffna, General Silva added.

Earlier, there was a plan to use university facilities and other spaces for quarantine purposes. “But, when the country opened, such plans could not be implemented”, he said.

He also refuted allegations and claims that paid quarantine centres were not maintaining proper standards.