Garment workers, their contacts, family members being treated very well - Army Commander

Garment workers, their contacts, family members being treated very well - Army Commander

The Army strongly refuted the allegations that garment workers, their contacts and family members are mistreated and it is fabricated attempts to tarnish COVID-19 humanitarian roles.

“In full compliance with laid down strategic guidelines, once a need to move any close contact of a COVID-19 positive patient arises, troops, engaged in COVID-19 preventive tasks, inform all of them by phone well in advance and request them to be ready ahead of such preventive evacuations. In many instances these evacuees even after arrival of the troops, do take more time to prepare before they board the buses but such instances are tolerated and managed,” , National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) head Chief of Defence Staff and Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva said.

“We are there only to take suspected patients who have got in direct contact with the patient. We fully understand their predicament, but they should realise the gravity of the situation as it could be transmitted easily to society. Despite heavy workloads, I personally inquired into those allegations, but found that they are completely false. I sometimes get down even photos of those meals as well and closely keep in touch with authorities. Those Quarantine Centres are run by tri servicemen and this congestion took place only during first few days when we had to cope with some 800 odd evacuees. People should note that we are trying to prevent the transmission into society and respective PHIs and Medical Officers are informed of our arrival to take away suspected cases. We are a group who gave away their mattresses and mosquito nets for the benefit of others and their dedicated services should not therefore be insulted or downgraded,” he added.

“Identical to others, we treat garment workers, their contacts and family members, too, in the best possible way considering them as our own brothers and sisters,” Lieutenant General Silva said.

“The mechanism that has so far effectively completed the quarantining over 52,000 persons, and is still engaged in the same with over 10,000 in island-wide tri service-managed Quarantine Centres, has been well appreciated by health authorities and profusely commended as evidenced through their positive feedbacks received to-date, and the Army performing a humanitarian role is here to be of assistance to Public Health Inspectors, Epidemiologists, Health authorities and other related agencies as part of health security at national level. The Army with other sister services is doing its utmost for the greater benefit of our society as the defenders of the nation and wants to ensure minimising further transmission of this deadly virus to other areas. All people with common sense should therefore understand challenging roles the Army is playing and continue to cooperate with these efforts, some of which would perhaps have unintentional shortcomings, and help negate possibilities of further spreading of the virus,” the Commander of the Army appealed.

Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, while strongly and flatly denying those unfounded and fabricated allegations, maintained that all those intentional fabrications bear all the hallmarks of a precursor to a bigger future machination the interested elements are now mapping out to tarnish or ridicule the role of the troops when the whole country is afflicted with a global health challenge of this magnitude.

He requested Media personnel to conduct their own investigations and find out for themselves how those quarantine procedures are adopted and what is going on there without levelling unfounded accusations.