Korean Ambassador Woonjin Jeong donating re-usable masks to NOCPCO Head Lt. General Shavendra Silva
Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Sri Lanka Woonjin Jeong on Wednesday met with Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Sri Lankan Army Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, who is also the Head of National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO), at the Army Headquarters. The Ambassador donated a consignment of 4000 re-usable fabric masks for distribution among Army personnel engaged in controlling COVID-19, especially in the area of Gampaha.
Appreciating the great relationship shared between Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea over time, Lt. Gen. Silva stated that both countries should strive to harness the full potential in areas of defence cooperation and military logistics, adding that he looks forward to strengthening the bilateral cooperation in military affairs and technological exchanges in the time to come. He also expressed his gratitude to the government of Korea for recruiting a substantial number of Sri Lankan migrant workers annually. Furthermore, as the Head of NOCPCO, Silva assured the Ambassador that they have devised and operated an efficient mechanism to control the pandemic, noting that they have the ability to predict the number of patients, and that most cases have been found among those who have been already placed in quarantine. Ambassador Woonjin Jeong mentioned he was “deeply impressed by the effective measures” taken by the Sri Lankan government to cope with COVID-19. “I am confident that the number of COVID-19 cases in Sri Lanka will decline due to the effective mechanism adopted by the military and health sectors of the country. Also, there has been no single infection case among the Korean community in Sri Lanka. On behalf of my country, Korea, I would like to thank the Sri Lanka Army for protecting Korean residents here in Sri Lanka amid COVID-19 and creating a secure and stable environment for them to reside in. I would like to give my appreciation to the entire anti-COVID team led by the Army that has been dedicated to the fight against COVID-19 for the Sri Lankan people including Korean residents.”
He further stated that the Republic of Korea has also successfully coped with COVID-19, like Sri Lanka, and that there was no single COVID-19 case from more than 1000 Sri Lankan workers repatriated from Korea until now. 23,000 Sri Lankans currently reside in Korea. He emphasised that Korea and Sri Lanka are among the safest countries in the world at present. The Ambassador affirmed his commitment to promote Sri Lanka among the Korean community and strengthen bilateral ties in the field of tourism, defence and other areas of interest. “Many Korean people are looking forward to visiting Sri Lanka once COVID-19 is curtailed,” he said.
The Ambassador stated that the donation of masks as a gesture of goodwill is a reflection that the long lasting friendship and mutual trust between the Republic of Korea and Sri Lanka will grow only stronger through the joint fight against COVID-19. Ambassador Jeong asserted: “I have no doubt that Korea and Sri Lanka will persevere, because together we will overcome every hardship. The Republic of Korea will always stand with Sri Lanka in the battle against this pandemic.” He mentioned that these masks, which were manufactured by a Sri Lankan social enterprise, are presented as tokens of appreciation for the Sri Lanka Army for their invaluable services rendered in controlling COVID-19, especially in Gampaha.
Lt. Gen. Silva in return thanked the Ambassador for his thoughtfulness and shared the appreciation of the army personnel, noting that this gesture will deepen the bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea.