By Tang Lu
COLOMBO, April 27 -- The Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka made an emergency donation of anti-epidemic items to the Sri Lankan Navy (SLN) in Colombo on April 24. Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva, Commander of the SL Navy presented to receive the items.
According to Sri Lankan military, 29 naval personnel were confirmed to be infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at the Welisara Naval Base on the outskirts of Colombo on the evening of April 23, and the base was subsequently locked down. On April 24, another 30 naval personnel at the base were tested positive for COVID-19. They were the first batch of confirmed cases in Sri Lankan armed forces on a large scale.
Local media reported that the Sri Lankan military has played an important role in the country’s response to the COVID-19 epidemic. The SLN has sent a large number of personnel to disinfect the public places and help maintain public order.
The Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka collected and purchased anti-epidemic materials overnight after learning the news. On the afternoon of April 24, Senior Colonel Wan Dong, defense attaché of the Chinese embassy, led the embassy personnel to send the urgently needed anti-epidemic items such as forehead thermometers, surgical masks, protective gears and gloves to the Commander Department of the SLN.
Vice Admiral De Silva said when receiving the supplies, "A friend in need is a friend indeed. China has always offered timely help and support to us." He then sent a special letter to the Chinese Embassy, praising the supplies for improving the SLN capabilities to handle the COVID-19.