The Ministry of Defence is refuting allegations made by some sections of the media, that the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) is not releasing information about sailors infected by the Corona virus to health authorities.

In a statement released to the Media on May 12, 2020, the Defence Ministry states that the Navy is conducting PCR testing for all personnel working at the Welisara Naval Base.

It adds that contact tracing is continuing and that all Navy personnel identified as infected by the virus are being sent to hospital for treatment.  Since the first navy sailor tested positive, the Navy has followed all recommendations given by Dr. Paba Palihawardana, Deputy Director General of Public Health Services, and Infectious Diseases Specialist, Ministry of Health Dr. Thilanga Pathirana to contain the spread of the virus.  The statement also adds that an officer from the Regional Directorate of Health, Gampaha, had inspected the Naval Complex at Welisara.  Stationed at the Base are also government trained SLN Public Health Inspectors.

All results of the PCR tests carried out on Navy personnel, both positive and negative have been handed over to the Task Force handling COVID-19 and Director General of Health Services, Directorates of Health Services in all districts and the Sri Lanka Police by the SLN.

The release quoted Secretary of Defence, Major General (Rtd.) Kamal Gunaratne as saying “The SLN has been following all the necessary communication with the health and other responsible authorities on reporting its situation regarding the coronavirus infected sailors and the testing process.”  Commending the contribution of the SLN in combatting the spread of the virus, he has stressed that the Navy would not hide information pertaining to the infection that has spread amongst Navy personnel.

The Secretary has refuted allegations in the media, says the press release of “covering up the real situation related to the spread of the coronavirus within the SLN, adding that the Tri-Forces including the SLN were maintaining a strict transparent process of disseminating information on coronavirus infected military personnel and the testing process.”


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