SLPA to prevent Novel Coronavirus outbreak in port premises

0
Passengers from cruise ships being quarantined at the Port of Colombo.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has implemented a successful program to prevent the spread of Novel Coronavirus from all ports including the Port of Colombo.

This program is implemented under the guidance and supervision of Minister of Ports and Shipping – Johnston Fernando, State Minister of Ports Development – Kanaka Herath, with the leadership and initiative of the Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) – General Daya Rathnayake,   and with the supportive assistance of SLPA Managing Director – Capt. Athula Hewavitahrana, Additional Managing Director – Upali De Zoysa and Harbour Master – Capt. Nirmal Silva.

Senior Security Manager (SLPA) – K. G. Upali, higher officers of SLPA, the staff of the Medical Division and Medical Office of SLPA and representatives of shipping lines and vessel operators also attend the launch of the program.

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) therefore responsibly claims that the Port of Colombo and all other ports under the purview of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) are safe and that certain parties that claim there is no mechanism for quarantine the passenger ships and the passengers arriving at the Passenger Terminal of the Port of Colombo are completely false.

The Additional Managing Director of SLPA, Upali De Zoysa at a special briefing said the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has launched this special quarantine program under directions and supervision by the Minister of Ports and Shipping, the State Minister, the Secretary to the Ministry of Ports and Shipping and the Chairman of SLPA to coincide with the national program on preventing the spread of Novel Coronavirus in Sri Lanka.

The program is also launched with the support and coordination of the Director of the Ministry of Health (Quarantine) – Dr. S. M. Arnold and Deputy Director, Roshan Sampath. Here at the Port of Colombo, the medical records of the passengers and crew of the vessels are obtained through ship captains and checked to investigate if they are infected or suspected of being infected with the Novel Coronavirus.

Doctors and staff of the Medical Division of the SLPA, its Health office staff, the South Asia Gateway Terminal (SAGT) and Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) of the Port of Colombo, the Port Police, Sri Lanka Navy, the vessel agents’ associations, Sri Lanka Association of Vessel Operators and all other concerned institutions are engaged in an collaborative teamwork around the clock to facilitate the programme.

Accordingly, all necessary steps have been arranged to send any patient or suspected passenger or crew member to specified hospitals to facilitate screening and treatments. Arrangements have also been made to provide all services including vehicle services to facilitate the programme.

“Sri Lanka’s ports are expected to grow fast to keep up with Sri Lanka’s reputation as a tourist destination. On the journey to becoming green and smart ports, all ports in Sri Lanka will also be developed as quarantine ports,” said the Additional Managing Director of SLPA, Upali De Zoysa.

Director of the Ministry of Health (Quarantine) – Dr. S. M. Arnold said that the special quarantine program at the Port of Colombo has been successful in parallel with the national program to curb the spread of Novel Coronavirus in Sri Lanka.

Passengers of the cruise ship ‘Sun Princess’ who had sailed from Australia and via Thailand to the Port of Colombo were inspected for any patients or persons with symptoms.

Dr. Arnold also praised the Ministry of Ports and Shipping and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), its Chairman and the management for their dedication and commitment on behalf of the Ministry of Health for the immediate steps taken to control Coronavirus at the port. “The assistance of all the directors of  SLPA and the top management of the SLPA is very important in the process as these quarantine measures are expected to be implemented successfully in all ports in Sri Lanka,” he said.