Navy refutes media speculations over spread of coronavirus at Welisara Naval Base

May 21, 2020

Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) Commander Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva, who has totally denied certain media reports related to skepticism over navy cluster, which is still active at the Welisara complex, said the SLN had taken all measures when deploying sailors to control the spread of coronavirus.

“The rumors that the Navy personnel deployed to arrest drug-addicts and individuals suspected of being positive with coronavirus are in the Naval Base is entirety baseless and incorrect” he told the .

He said SLN personnel were engaged in coronavirus control programs based on calculated risk assessments and in consideration of safety and health hazards to personnel involved particularly to the coronavirus preventive measures taken in ‘Suduwella’, Ja-Ela.

Out of 578 coronavirus infected sailors, a total of 237 naval personnel have been discharged so far.

He said steps had been taken to systematically evacuate naval personnel in keeping with expert opinions and supervision of the healthcare authorities to quarantine facilities.

The move was initiated as a precautionary measure based on instructions received by epidemiologists to minimize further spread of the pandemic among navy personnel at Welisara.

Meanwhile, he said security in the perimeter of the base had been strengthened with additional troops.

The Navy’s very involvement from Suduwella to Nagalagam street in Colombo possibly averted a major health catastrophe from unfolding in the country, the SLN Chief said.

According to Vice Admiral Silva, the sailors in the Base have been transferred to proper quarantine centers to minimize the spread.

Meanwhile, Head of the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak and Sri Lanka Army Commander Lt.Gen. Shavendra Silva told the that sailors were infected during the Suduwella incident and there was no possibility for them to get infected from somewhere else.

“The officials of the Epidemiology Unit, who had visited the Naval Base, had conducted an investigation on how the SLN cluster at Welisara is still active. We are waiting for their report and recommendations on how to contain spread of coronavirus in the base,” he said.