- 9,583 people had been repatriated from 38 countries as at Wednesday
- 30,000 more awaiting repatriation
- The rule of getting PCR tests within 72 hours still remains
- Once airport opens, visiting tourists will also need to submit 72-hour PCR test report
By JAMILA HUSAIN
Local nationals being repatriated from overseas are continuing to submit a PCR test report taken within 72 hours before boarding their flights but some of them are testing positive upon arrival at the BIA due to their virus load being low in their bodies, Health officials told Daily Mirror yesterday.
Several locals who have arrived in the country in recent days, for example from the USA and India have tested positive for the COVID-19 after being tested here simply because the virus had grown during the second PCR test.
“We have told them all to test within 72 hours so by the time they come here it is 4 days gap so that time is quite enough for the virus to grow to a level sufficient for detection by a second PCR test,” the senior health official said.
“It is mandatory that a PCR test is conducted within 72 hours before they come here. That rule very much remains,” the official added.
Meanwhile, as at Wednesday, 9,583 people had been repatriated from 38 countries while at least 30,000 nationals were awaiting repatriation.
Additional Secretary to the President for Foreign Relations, Admiral Jayanath Colombage said that the numbers repatriated so far were quite large considering that the BIA was closed for inbound traffic.
However he said with countries gradually opening up, some locals had decided to remain back as they had gone back to their employment while some others were awaiting till the BIA officially opened for inbound traffic.
Further, he said once the airport opens in August, tourists wanting to visit here will also have to submit a PCR test within 72 hours before arriving here and will once again have to conduct a PCR test upon landing.
Only once the tests are negative will tourists be able to travel in organised vehicles and that too to selected locations which will be open for tourists.
- As at Wednesday, 9,583 people had been repatriated from 38 countries while at least 30,000 nationals were awaiting repatriation