Support for Sri Lanka Navy in COVID-19 testing

Australia is providing four polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines to support the Sri Lanka Navy in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The gift from the Department of Home Affairs and the Department of Defence will support increased medical testing capabilities for Sri Lanka at sea.

Minister for Defence Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the machines will enhance the Sri Lanka Navy’s health risk management and operational capability.

“The PCR machines are capable of testing for a range of infectious diseases in addition to COVID-19, and will assist the Sri Lanka Navy to maintain its operational capacity during and beyond the immediate pandemic response,” Minister Reynolds said.

“Sri Lanka and Australia share vital interests in the security and stability of the Indian Ocean Region. This delivery is just one way of demonstrating our support and commitment to our neighbours.”

Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton highlighted the vital role the Sri Lanka Navy plays as a key partner for Australia’s Operation Sovereign Borders in preventing and responding to illegal maritime people smuggling.

“The Australian Government has a long standing relationship with the Sri Lanka Navy, which is characterised by close cooperation to prevent and disrupt illegal maritime people smuggling in support of Operation Sovereign Borders.

“The threat of illegal people smuggling continues as people smugglers find different ways to exploit vulnerable people. The Sri Lanka Navy works closely with the Royal Australian Navy and Operation Sovereign Borders to ensure vulnerable people do not attempt dangerous and illegal maritime journeys in the first place.”

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