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Sri Lankan army detains at least 1,050 in coronavirus quarantine centres in North-East

The Sri Lankan air force has continued to set up more of the state’s controversial coronavirus “quarantine centres” across the North-East, with at least 1,057 foreigners and locals being detained at these centres, in the wake of the COVID-19 coronavrius outbreak,

Despite protests by locals and politicians who expressed their concern in the setting up these centres in the North-East regions, the military has continued to establish quarantine centres in the area.

There has been an increased militarisation across the North-East with reporters in Vavuniya saying that buses are continuing to be subjected to military checks, and increased security.

See updates from across the North below.

Jaffna

233 people, including several Sinhala Buddhist monks, were brought to the coronavirus (COVID-19) quarantine centre established at the army's 522 Brigade Headquarters in Kodikamam, Jaffna.

The monks, who were returning from a religious pilgrimage to India, were brought from Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport to the quarantine centre in the North-East, on Sunday (22nd March).

They were brought in 8 buses and placed for quarantine at the Kodikamam quarantine facility, which has been reported to be able to accommodate up to 500 people.

The Military Health Faculty said that it had administered food and medicine to all those under quarantine.

Mullaitivu

The Mullaitivu Keppapilavu Air Force Base has also been transformed into a coronavirus quarantine centre.

Reports suggest that arrivals from from India had been transported to the said quarantine centre and will be in isolation for two weeks, whilst being closely monitored. On Friday (20th of March), a total of 50 people arrived in Sri Lanka from India.

Just before noon, on the 22nd of March another 65 people were brought on two buses to the Air Force Base, with a Sinhala Buddhist monk amongst them. Later that day, at approximately 12:30 pm, another 97 people and 4 monks were brought to the Air Force base for quarantine.

 

As of  the 22nd of March, 203 people were stated to be quarantined at the Mullaitivu quarantine centre.

Killinochchi

172 people, including those that had visited India on a religious pilgrimage, have now been quarantined in Iranamadu, Killinochchi.

Vavuniya

449 people were tested for the coronavirus (COVID-19) at three different centres in Vavuniya including the; Pampaimadu Army Camp, Poovarasankulam Air Force Camp this morning and Pampaimadu Women’s Army Camp.

Around two weeks ago (March 13), 265 passengers were transported from airports, under police protection to the Pampaimadu Women’s Army Camp in Vavuniya to be tested for the coronavirus.

On March 16th, a further 134 passengers from Italy, South Korea and Iran were brought to Pampaimadu Army Camp and Poovarasankulam Air Force Camp for quarantine.