The Foreign Relations Ministry has urgently informed the Sri Lankan Embassy in Beijing to immediately contact the 40 Sri Lankan students studying in the Wuhan Province as well as some Sri Lankan nationals employed there, and make arrangements to evacuate them to safer areas as Chinese officials locked down the city following the rapid spread of the Wuhan Pneumonia.
The Daily Mirror learns that an urgent discussion between Higher Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena and Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena had taken place over the matter following which the Foreign Relations Minister had issued the instructions to the embassy in Beijing.
The embassy officials had contacted all the Sri Lankan nationals in Wuhan and had made the necessary arrangements so that the embassy and families can continue to remain in contact. In the event any national suffers from any symptoms of the virus, the embassy has advised them to seek medical assistance immediately.
Further all Sri Lankan nationals have been informed to avoid crowded places and stay indoors. Following the rapid spread of the Wuhan Pneumonia, Chinese officials have locked down Wuhan as well as nearby Huanggang and Ezhou. Wuhan, now term as 'ground zero' temporarily closed its airport and railway stations yesterday for departing passengers. All public transport services in the city of 11 million people has also been suspended until further notice. Transport authorities also began shutting down some of the main highways leaving Wuhan leading to a complete lock down of the city. (JAMILA HUSAIN)