COVID-19: Lankan Navy intensifies patrolling to prevent spread of disease from India
The Sri Lankan Navy has intensified its coastal patrolling to prevent the possible spread of the novel coronavirus through "infected" Indian fishermen that it fears might "poach" in their territorial waters.
Colombo: The Sri Lankan Navy has intensified its coastal patrolling to prevent the possible spread of the novel coronavirus through "infected" Indian fishermen that it fears might "poach" in their territorial waters.
Navy chief Piyal de Silva on Friday said they have strengthened patrolling, especially in northern, western and northwestern coastal areas. The Lankan Airforce would also be on hand to assist.
There is a possibility that infected Indian fishermen could poach in our waters. They could have contact with our people and pass on the virus," he said.
Poaching in each other's waters by fishermen of both the countries has been a recurring problem since the recent past.
The frequent incidents of poaching have drawn top-level talks between the two nations across the Palk Strait, which is between Tamil Nadu and Jaffna district of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka.
The fishermen issue also figured in the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa during the latter's visit to India in February.
Referring to the issue, Modi had said both sides have decided to adopt a humanitarian approach in dealing with it.
"It directly affects the livelihood of the people of both countries. Therefore, we agreed to continue to adopt a constructive and humanitarian approach in dealing with the issue," he said.
Sri Lanka is under a lockdown since last month to tackle the fast-spreading virus.
The country has till now reported 197 confirmed cases of coronavirus with 7 deaths.