Katunayake EPZ gets COVID-19 Intermediate Care Centre

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The Board of Investment (BOI) Chairman Sanjaya Mohottala last week inaugurated the newly built intermediate care centre (ICC) for COVID-19 patients in the export processing zone (EPZ) in Katunayake.

The ICC is housed in a building offered by Crystal Martin Ceylon, with much support from other ventures. The Free Trade Zone Manufacturer’s Association had provided Rs. 10 million for this project while the Gampaha National Youth Services Council donated 100 beds.

It has 500 beds and is fully equipped with the latest technical appliances, including a number of facilities to maintain the mental health of in-house patients. 

Medical services at the care centre will be provided by the General Hospital – Negombo, with a nominal daily fee of Rs. 1,500 for food, medicine, accommodation and other facilities.

The BOI Chairman commended the successful vaccination program implemented within the EPZ, which had resulted in a noticeable decrease in reported cases when compared to the second wave experienced last year.

As of 4 July, over 60% of the total workforce had been vaccinated. Moreover, staff at all institutions under the BOI in the Eastern Province are now fully vaccinated, with the figure around 85% in the North.

“The first dose will be given to staff of all factories under the BOI in the next two weeks and the second dose will be given before the end of next month,” Mohottala said.

Despite the frequently amended health guidelines due to the highly-transmittable COVID-19 variants, the manufacturing operations will be allowed to proceed uninterrupted, he said.

Free Trade Zone Manufacturer’s Association President/Isin Lanka Ltd., General Manager Jatinder Biala said Sri Lanka’s industrialists pay more attention to employee safety and welfare in the manufacturing process. He said the entire world is facing major challenges due to the pandemic, but that all must work together to overcome this crisis.

Free Trade Zone Manufactures Association Secretary Dhammika Fernando said bearing the heavy medical costs, ensuring job security of employees, maintaining sound export volumes have been considered as a national responsibility by all firms.

Crystal Martin CEO Mark Mueller, BOI Deputy Director General (Retd.) Major General Jagath Gunawardena, BOI Executive Director Zones M.K.D. Lawrence and Negombo General Hospital Dr. Nirmala Yoganathan were also present at the occasion.

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