The Navy has made arrangements to deploy a special medical team from the Health Ministry to Kachchathivu Island during the upcoming annual feast. The additional medical measures have been taken as a precautionary measure owing to the current concerns over the Coronavirus, the Navy said on Thursday during a media briefing held at the Defence Ministry Media Centre.
Navy Spokesman Lt. Com. Isuru Sooriyabandara said that all arrangements had been made to hold the Katchatheevu feast today (March 7).
â€œThe Health Ministry Epidemiology Unit has been entrusted with the task of providing medical facilities on the island during the feast. We expect as many as 3,000 pilgrims from
India and around 7,000 pilgrims from Sri Lanka to attend the feast,â€ Sooriyabandara said.
The Navy Spokesman said that their greater concern however, is not about the Coronavirus but Malaria. â€œMalaria has been reported from India and our greater concern is about
that and not Coronavirus. However, we have made all arrangements for the medical team to carry out screening procedures to ensure the safety of pilgrims. The Epidemiology unit
members and Navy medical teams from Jaffna and Kytes will be deployed and all thermal scanners and other medical equipment has been installed on Kachchathivu Island.
Further, in the event a suspected case is detected, all required medical gear and facilities have been established to isolate such patients as well,â€ he said.
The Navy has also taken measures to educate those attending the Kachchathivu Feast on following proper hygiene practices and how to protect themselves from getting infected.
The Navy has also taken measures to install hand wash centers throughout the island for the convenience of pilgrims. The Navy will also provide food and water for the pilgrims
attending the feast.
Both Indian and Sri Lankan authorities have also focused on ensuring tight security during the St. Anthonyâ€™s Feast on Kachchathivu Island. As such, the Indian authorities will
issue passes to all pilgrims visiting Kachchathivu from India. Similarly, , all Sri Lankan pilgrims attending the feast have also been issued passes. Those without these passes will
not be allowed to disembark in Kachchathivu. As a further security measure, all those attending the feast will be body checked prior to being allowed on the island,â€ the Navy