July 25, Colombo: The Minister of Labor Nimal Siripala de Silva says that a special program will be implemented to vaccinate migrant workers, who expect to leave for foreign countries with approved visa, with a Covid vaccine approved in the respective countries.
Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva stated that nearly 8000 Sri Lankan workers who have been granted work permits and visas in about 15 countries are waiting to receive the Covid vaccine accepted by those countries.
He stated this at a discussion held with the Ministry of Health, Pavithra Wanniarachchi and other officials of the Ministry of Health.
Accordingly, these migrant workers are expected to leave for Dubai, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Maldives, Malaysia, Israel and Cyprus for employment.
Minister of Health and the officials of the Ministry of Health, agreed to provide the Pfizer vaccine to all those who wish to go abroad for employment, as the Pfizer vaccine is the most widely accepted vaccine in all these countries.
Accordingly, discussions were held to provide the first dose of the vaccine at a Colombo center next week and to give the second dose as scheduled to facilitate them to travel abroad within the next two months.
As many of the job seekers who go abroad for employment are young people under the age of 30, the authorities discussed providing the vaccine with special consideration.
Many senior officials including Dr. SH Munasinghe, Secretary, Ministry of Health, Mapa Pathirana Secretary to the Ministry of Labor, Maj. Gen. Mahinda Hathurusinghe, Chairman, Bureau of Foreign Employment, Dr. Asela Gunawardena, Director General of Health Services, and Dr. Prasanna Gunasena, Specialist, Chairman, State Pharmaceutical Corporation joined the discussion.