Our commitments lead us to overcome any challenge

Appropriate control measures implemented to ensure the risks and impacts are managed to a tolerable level, and proportionate measures have been implemented to manage and mitigate the risks that COVID-19 poses to all persons and communities.

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and its stakeholders, as well as all representatives of Sri Lankan maritime industry in general, have faced several novel challenges due to the prevailing status of the pandemic. It is part of the challenges facing the world as a whole. I am confident that all these challenges shall overcome due to the sincere commitments and unity of all those involved in this industry and other relevant parties.

General Daya Ratnayake, Chairman, Sri Lanka Ports Authority

 The pandemic caused global health emergency has posed serious challenges to the global supply chain. Consequently, many container ships and other vessels could not even enter many of the world’s ports and harbours. As I mentioned in my previous message, Sri Lanka did not and will not abdicate its responsibilities under any circumstances. As a result, our ports and harbours were opened for container vessels, passenger ships, bulk carriers, and other maritime services around the clock. We gave priority to the crew changeovers and their health as we believe seafarers are the first line of defence in the global supply chain. Our priority is taking the necessary precautions to keep all ship and shore-based personnel as safe as possible.

It is a known fact that in the last few days, several employees of Port of Colombo were infected with the Covid-19 virus. Consequently, the operations of the Colombo Port were affected. Attendance of employees of the container terminals dropped drastically due to declaration of curfew as well.

All employees infected with the coronavirus were immediately referred for medical treatment. Subsequently, close contacts of the victims were traced and respectively subjected to systematic procedures and quarantine followed by health guideline. Meanwhile, randomly selected samples of employees and port users continually referred for PCR tests. Disinfection of all ports and all terminals premises continued. Every facility is in place so that everyone entering the port premises can comply with strict health guidance.

Appropriate control measures implemented to ensure the risks and impacts are managed to a tolerable level, and proportionate measures have been implemented to manage and mitigate the risks that COVID-19 poses to all persons and communities.

About 30% of JCT’s operators still had to be quarantined at their residences as a result and this resulted inadequate manpower to manage normal operations. Action has been taken to hire additional staff through manpower supply companies to meet the shortage. Port operations are gradually returning to normalcy and we can assure that the Port of Colombo will operate at its customary level of efficiency within this week.

General Daya Ratnayake, Chairman, Sri Lanka Ports Authority

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