COVID-19 pandemic: over 50,000 Lankans still to be repatriated | Daily News

COVID-19 pandemic: over 50,000 Lankans still to be repatriated

All incoming flights rescheduled due to Gampaha cluster

More than 50, 000 Sri Lankans stranded due to the COVID-19 pandemic are yet to be repatriated as the repatriation process will be temporarily halted due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation in the country.

Speaking to the Daily News, Director General of East Asia to the Foreign Relations Ministry, Kandeepan Balasupramaniam said, “The rescheduling of flights is due to the current situation in the Minuwangoda cluster of the Gampaha District. There are more than 800 positive cases, and due to this, quarantine centres will be scarcely available, which will be a hindrance to local health authorities and those repatriated.”

He added that flights won’t be cancelled, but rescheduled; a Korean flight had arrived yesterday as tickets and travel arrangements were done before this incident, and it will be the last until repatriation is permitted again, once the situation eases in the country.

“A lot of charter flights have been temporarily halted until further notice. We have repatriated more than 40,000 stranded Sri Lankans. This temporary halt is due to the prevailing situation,” Balasupramaniam said.

Meanwhile, Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Sudath Samaraweera told the media yesterday that flights bringing stranded Sri Lankans would be restricted, considering the space available at quarantine centres and hospitals due to the new COVID-19 cluster in the country.