Colombo brings 1,100 persons from South to military-operated Quarantine Centres in North

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 April 2020, 16:29 GMT]
Civil authorities in the North were not informed in advance about SL authorities in Colombo starting to bring a large number of people, around 1100 persons, to military-operated Quarantine Centres in the Northern Province. Northern Provincial Regional Director of Health Services (RDHS) Dr A Ketheeswaran said he was yet to receive details when contacted by TamilNet on Wednesday. However, he was told by SL Army Commander Lt Gen Shavendra Silva that the office of the RDHS, as well as the Government Agents of the districts in the province, would receive the details. The SL military has started to quarantine ninety-nine persons in Palaali, informed sources said. Earlier, there were reports of cross infections due to “dormitory” type of isolation centres operated by the Palaali-based military at KKS.

SLA Commander Shavendra Silva and Defence Kamal Gunaratne recently visited Jaffna on the instructions from SL President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to streamline the isolation and quarantine centres, informed sources said.

The SL military commanders responsible for the isolation and quarantine centres under the Palaali military base were reportedly relieved of their responsibility following reports of cross infections, the sources further said.

Those relieved of their isolation and quarantine responsibilities were blaming their superiors for failing to provide the tourist resort ‘Thalsevena’ (Palmyra Shade) for isolation and quarantine purposes. As a result, they were only able to use houses with limited resources to house the people.

However, informed health workers in Jaffna blamed the SL military for applying different approaches in quarantining the native residents of the North and those from the South.

Cross infections were reported among the twenty Tamils from Jaffna who were isolated at KKS after their initial contact with an infected person, a pastor, who had come from Switzerland last month. Sixteen of them have tested positive so far and the remaining four, exposed to the same conditions, were still in KKS, the sources said.

Apart from KKS, the SL Army is running QCs at Mirusuvil and Ketpeli in Thenmaraadchi in the district of Jaffna. SL Air Force is operating a QC at Ira'nai-madu in Ki'linochchi district while SL Navy is running the QC at Muzhangkaavil. There are SL military-operated QCs at Keappaa-pulavu in Mullaiththeevu and Pa'ndaarik-ku'lam in Vavuniyaa.


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