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* Army Troops with FTZ authorities transport over 5100 stranded FTZ employees home
Sat, Mar 28, 2020, 12:46 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 27, Colombo: Sri Lanka Army troops on Friday transported over 5100 stranded employees of Free Trade Zones (FTZs) in Katunayake and Wathupitiwela to their homes with the assistance of respective FTZ companies.

Commander of the Army and Head of the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO), Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva said addressing the NOCPCO media briefing said the

."Resolving one more most pressing issues that prevailed in the FTZ areas in Wathupitiwela and Katunayake where employees, majority being females, remained stranded either in their boarding places or residential quarters, being unable to move out, Army troops with the coordination of respective companies transported a total of 5180 employees to their nearest destinations during the course of the day (27)," Lieutenant General Silva said.

Before taking them home, the employees were subjected to a special medical check-up by the Sri Lanka Air Force personnel. About 2,000 more are to be returned to their homes.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Army, together with Navy and Air Force personnel meanwhile facilitated the homeward passage of 501 quarantined individuals in Army-organized transport after completion of their quarantine process, the Head of NOCPCO said.

Instructions were also issued to the returnees for self-quarantine inside their homes for two more weeks without taking unnecessary risks.

He said to-date, 1179 quarantined persons have been allowed to join their families while there still remain persons in quarantine at 46 Quarantine Centers (QCs).

He added that another batch of 300 returnees would leave QCs after 14-day isolation on Saturday (28).

The Army Chief urged the people to remain inside their homes, although people are seen moving along roads without any purpose.

He said on Thursday (26) it was found that an individual who was confirmed to be a positive COVID-19 patient had made contact with 26 individuals in Ataluwagama, Bandaragama areas in the last few days. “On being informed, measures were immediately adopted in cooperation with medical authorities to isolate all of them in one improvised Quarantine Centre,” Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva remarked.

The Head of Special Task Force on COVID-19 relief, Basil Rajapaksa has been implementing a project to deliver food varieties and essential medicine to the doorsteps in a safe and hygienic manner, the Army Chief said.

"Many operational mechanisms for people to buy their provisions from homes are now in place and some appear to be misusing this flexible approach. Forces will assist the Police to strictly impose Curfew hours and take the violators into custody since these efforts are poised to arrest transmission, protect the people and eradicate this deadly threat. If people do not adhere to health guidelines, all our attempts would fail, "Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva pointed out.


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