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More than 1000 Sri Lankans infected in Qatar, flight scheduled to bring back Sri Lankans stranded in Qatar cancelled

A flight scheduled to bring back Sri Lankans stranded in Qatar has been cancelled, the Foreign Ministry said today.

Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha said that in consultation with the Minister of Foreign Relations Dinesh Gunawardena, he has instructed Sri Lanka’s Acting Ambassador in Qatar, as an interim measure, to immediately find accommodation for those stranded, following the cancellation of the Sri Lankan Airlines flight from Qatar, which was scheduled for today.

At least 1051 Sri Lankans based in Qatar have contracted Covid19 accroding to reports document circulating on social media.

The document was prepared by Dr. Shazia Nadeem acting Head, Surveillance & Outbreak
Health Protection & Communicable Disease Control at Qatar’s Ministry of Health could not be verified as an official document.

Qatar has seen a spike of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks with more than 45,000 patients recorded to far,out of which 10,000 have recovered.

Meanwhile a review of the process of repatriating Sri Lankans stranded overseas could be done soon after a number of returnees were found to have contracted the coronavirus according to health authorities.

Director-General of Health Services Dr Anil Jasinghe speaking to Media today said that the Government will review the frequency of bringing Sri Lankans back from overseas.

He said that with the latest developments it is likely that there will be a gap between flights bringing down Sri Lankans so that the authorities have time to deal with the returnees more closely.

SriLanka recorded the tenth COVID19 death this morning.The deceased is a 51-year-old female Kuwait returnee at the Trincomalee quarantine centre.

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