Sri Lankan missions seek medical equipment from foreign countries

Sri Lankan missions seek medical equipment from foreign countries

Sri Lankan missions seek medical equipment from foreign countries

Written by Hassaan Shazuli

03 Apr, 2020 | 10:47 am

COLOMBO (News1st): Sri Lankan missions overseas have been requested to seek opportunities to obtain test kits and the necessary medical equipment to curb the spread of COVID – 19 in the country, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Foreign relations ministry said that Sri Lankan missions overseas have been coordinating the procurement of medicines and medical equipment urgently needed on a Government to Government basis.

Issuing a statement, the ministry noted that it had held a series of teleconferences with the heads of 67 missions to ensure the well being and safety of all Sri Lankans overseas, and to prepare for any future exigencies.

In a bid to facilitate the well-being of exporters, Sri Lankan missions have been assisting the Export Development Board to obtain market information, and to address issues in the countries which are key export destinations, the statement noted.

The foreign relations ministry said that the Sri Lankan community overseas has been assured that their requests to return to Sri Lanka will be considered once the spread of COVID-19 is contained in the country.

The ministry added that all Sri Lankan missions have been “constantly interacting with the student communities and the migrant workers in their respective stations and have established 24-hour emergency hotlines”.

Sri Lankan missions in regions witnessing a heavy presence of Sri Lankan expatriate workers have stated that they have been assisting the expatriates in preparing emergency passports, visa extensions, and employment contracts, by coordinating with the relevant authorities.

During the teleconferences, the ministry had stressed that the missions and the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) should look after the well-being of Sri Lankans currently overseas without valid visas, unemployed and also those not registered with the SLBFE.

Accordingly, it was noted that some Sri Lanka Missions have liaised with local charities, recruiting agencies,  community organizations, and international organizations, to render assistance to Sri Lankans until they are repatriated to the country.

The Missions have also been striving to secure visa extensions for students, as well as other residents and those visiting abroad, whose visas are lapsing, the statement read.

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