Some 170 Sri Lankans who arrived from Korea, Italy and Iran during the past few days have been quarantined for 14 days at centers set up at the Batticaloa Private Campus in eastern Sri Lanka, the Kandakadu Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre and Leprosy Hospital in Hendala, Director General Health Services (DGHS), Dr. Anil Jasinghe said.
He told Daily Mirror today that it was mandatory for all air and sea passengers arriving in Sri Lanka from these three countries to undergo a period of quarantine to detect any possible COVID-19 infection.
“We sent two Koreans back home on the same flight they arrived at the BIA after they refused to undergo a period of quarantine. We will not release any air passengers arriving from these three countries without being quarantined,” Dr. Jasinghe said.
He said Sri Lankans would not be allowed to go on pilgrimage to India until further notice because several coronavirus-related deaths had been reported from India.
As a preventive measure, Dr. Jasinghe asked people to wash their hands and avoid touching the face and refrain from tours and parties, avoid crowded places and stay home as much as possible when you are not at work.
Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus-related deaths in China rose to 4,027 and the number of infected patients rose to 114,458 by today while 60,089 patients had recovered from the disease and the number of new cases had declined.
SriLankan airlines has cancelled flights to Jeddah from March 15 to April 30 following restrictions placed by Saudi Arabia's General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) on the entry of foreigners into Saudi Arabia.
However, SriLankan will continue to fly to other cities that it serves in Saudi Arabia, namely Riyadh and Dammam.
SriLankan airlines has also suspended its services between Sri Lanka and China from today to April 30 because of the current market conditions driven by significant reduction in worldwide travel to and from China. (Sandun A Jayasekera)