INDIAN OCEAN NEIGHBOURS AUSTRALIA AND SRI LANKA: RESPONDING TO COVID-19 TOGETHER

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Australia has delivered essential medical supplies to Sri Lanka to further assist in its response to COVID-19. On 4 June, a Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster aircraft landed at Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport carrying essential supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  Using Sri Lanka as a hub, essential supplies will also be delivered to Nepal and India in direct response to the COVID-19 crises taking place in those countries.

Australia has continued to support Sri Lanka’s health system since the start of the pandemic, responding to COVID-19 outbreaks and bolstering the health system to manage threats to regional health security in the future.

The Western Australian Government’s donation of 9,800,000 facemasks and 3,200 coveralls will provide essential support and protection to those on the frontline of the current health crisis to ensure the sustained delivery of emergency care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marking the event at Mattala Airport, Australian High Commissioner David Holly said  “In addition to the COVID-19 supplies being delivered to Sri Lanka today, the Australian government warmly appreciates the support of the Sri Lankan government in facilitating the use of Mattala Airport as the hub for delivering much needed COVID support to our North East Indian Ocean neighbours.”

“Today’s event represents a significant example of our growing commitment to partnership in the Indian Ocean region.”

Australia’s overall package of support to Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 response totals AUD 11.7 million (LKR 1,800 million). Australia’s support has been focused on bolstering health security, promoting social cohesion and stability for Sri Lankan communities and supporting economic recovery.

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