Chinese companies, operating in Sri Lanka, are reported to have directed their employees who have recently returned from China after the Chinese New Year festivities to undergo a 14-day period of self isolation before confirming they are not carriers of the coronavirus and are free of any symptoms.
In case any Chinese workers showing symptoms of infection by the coronovirus, they have been advised to contact their respective companies and the Sri Lankan authorities immediately and all emergency numbers have been given to them to do so.
Those still in China and expected to return during the next few days have been informed by their companies not to return till the virus is controlled globally.
Meanwhile, employees of Chinese companies in Sri Lanka have been told not to travel overseas until further notice. Chinese companies, although they continue to operate their day to day work in the country, are doing so very cautiously by making it compulsory for workers to wear masks and gloves at all times.
Canteens have been heavily sanitized and workers have been told to avoid having meals in groups.
Companies such as China Merchants Port Holdings Company Limited, which is managing the Hambantota Port is now operating on 'Level 2 Emergency Response' status and said, "due to a confirmed case of novel coronavirus in Sri Lanka, all port staff and visitors are required to wear medical masks at all times."
So far, none of the Chinese workers who recently returned to Sri Lanka has shown symptoms of the infection.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror learns that Chinese and tourists who are visiting hotels, restaurants and spas in many areas of the country are being turned away due to fear that they may be carrying the virus.
Although Chinese tourists had arrived in small numbers in recent weeks, following a regulation announced by China that citizens should postpone travel abroad, hotels had not received any new bookings.
Panic spread across Sri Lanka yesterday after news spread that a 43 year old tourist from the Hubei province who had arrived in the country for holiday on Jan.19 had tested positive for the virus.
The Health Ministry said they had identified all the areas she had visited and were in the process of educating and medically checking the people who she had come in contact with.
The infected lady had arrived on an Air China flight and continues to receive treatment at the National Infectious Disease Hospital.(Jamila Husain)