Written by Pavani Hapuarachchi
29 May, 2020 | 12:41 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st): Sri Lanka Health Ministry on Friday blamed Kuwait for acting in violation of the World Health Organisation’s – International Health Regulations (IHR), by returning foreign nationals infected with COVID-19 back to their home countries.
According to Dr. Jasinghe majority of expatriate workers who were repatriated from Kuwait, are already infected with the virus, adding one such passenger who arrived in the island from Kuwait passed away and three others are in Intensive Care.
“Under the International Health Regulations or IHR that has been signed by all members of the World Health Organisation; returning of infected patients violates the IHR,” told Dr. Anil Jasinghe, the Director-General of Health Services in Sri Lanka to News 1st on Friday (May 29).
IHR is an agreement between 196 countries including all WHO member states to work together for global health security.
Dr. Jasinghe was responding to a question as to whether the repatriation of Sri Lankans from overseas has an impact on the containment of COVID-19 in the country, during an interview with News 1st on Friday (May 29).
He also said that the repatriated Sri Lankans arriving from overseas including Kuwait will not be rejected at any point.
“Considering the repatriation of our very own Sri Lankans back to their home as a burden to controlling the virus is unfair,” Dr. Jasinghe said.
Dr. Jasinghe said that such practice of repatriating of infected people is unethical and inhumane however, emphasized the arrival of our citizens to the country, “will not be rejected at any point.”
“Instead, the best practice would be for repatriation flights to continue at intervals, as the capacity of quarantine facilities and capacity of medical health facilities in the country are significant,” Dr. Jasinghe noted.
Further explaining the matter, Dr. Jasinghe said that COVID-19 patients die very rarely, they are admitted to hospitals, undergo treatment, recover and be discharged.
This means, depending on the rate of admission and discharge only new cases can be admitted, which applies to hospitals as well as quarantine facilities.
On Monday (May 25), Former State Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said that bringing down a group of Sri Lankan expatriates who were infected with COVID-19 on the 19th of May, was similar to a bomb attack on the country.
Responding to the statement made on Monday, Former MP Sunil Handunnetti lashed out at Mahindananda Aluthgamage for stating the Kuwaiti government selected “people who were COVID 19 positive and sent them here on their flights.” (For this news article: click here )
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