News

Navy has expedited PCR testing for sailors in Welisara Naval Base – Navy Chief

April 24, 2020

Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) Chief Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva said PCR testing for naval personnel in the Welisara Naval Base has been expedited and the base has been completely locked down to prevent spread of coronavirus further.

He told the defence.lk that with another 30 naval personnel tested positive for coronavirus today (April 24) making the total number of coronavirus infected sailors to 60, SLN has taken steps to conduct over 400 PCR tests per day from tomorrow.

“Our request to public is not to be unduly worried about this situation as the SLN has already taken immediate steps to contain the spread of coronavirus,” Vice Admiral De Silva said.

He said the SLN had taken precautionary measures to confine sailors to their barracks and also to bring the sailors who were on leave and had close connections with corornavirus positive patients, back to the naval base.

Meanwhile a press release issued by SLN today said that nearly 4,000 naval personnel and their families (194 married quarters are located in the Welisara Naval Complex) have been isolated within the camp.

Following is the full text of the press release issued today.

Upon confirmation that a naval person from Polonnnaruwa has been infected with the new coronavirus while on leave, the PCR test was conducted to gauge the spread of the disease among other naval personnel who were sharing the same mess  and working at the office with the victim in Welisara Naval Complex as well as all his associates.

Further, the Navy made prompt action to lockdown the Welisara Naval Complex due to health concerns. Nearly 4,000 naval personnel and their families (194 married quarters are located in the Welisara Naval Complex) have been isolated within the camp and they will be tested for the virus in accordance with the urgency to do so. In addition, a group of identified individuals who were on leave and recognized to be close links with the infected naval personnel has been brought back to the naval base.

In this backdrop, the Sri Lanka Navy is already engaged in well planned quarantine process in organizational level and its proceedings are currently underway going by the guidance of the health sector.

Therefore, as far as the health of naval personnel are concerned, the general public should not be unduly worried about this situation. Further, necessary action has been taken to temporarily confine naval personnel at homes if they are on leave, resume all naval operations at Welisara Navy Complex after health inspections and hospitalize and treat those contracted the virus.

Also, the Naval Headquarters has information of naval personnel who are away from bases on leave or official duties. Anyone who wants to know about any person who is on leave or out of the base may contact the following telephone numbers.

Operations Room Naval Headquarters

Telephone     0112445368/ 011719225
Fax              0112441454
WhatsApp    0772201365
E-mail          nhqdno@yahoo.com