By Bipin Dani
Health Ministry officials have endorsed the earlier guidelines and insist on a 14-day quarantine for the visiting Bangladesh cricket team.
This has been confirmed by Dr. Sudath Samaraweera, the chief of the Epidemiology Unit, Ministry of Health.
The discussions between the Health Ministry officials and experts from the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 took place on Thursday, where it is decided not to relax the quarantine period for the visiting team, or to any overseas visitors arriving in the country.
Speaking exclusively over telephone from Colombo on Friday morning, he said, "There has been no change in our earlier stand and if the Bangladesh team wants to play in Sri Lanka, must undergo a 14-day quarantine."
Dr. Samaraweera also declined the suggestion of a split quarantine. The proposal for Bangladesh players was to have a seven-day quarantine in Bangladesh and another seven days of quarantine in Sri Lanka.
"We want them to be in a total quarantine period of 14 days from the day when they land in Sri Lanka", he added.
The Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi didn't participate in the meeting.
"She encourages the professionals to take such decisions," one of the medical persons attached to the department added.
The decision will be conveyed to the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) board by the acting Director General of Health Services Dr. S. Sreedharan, who earlier had hoped for an amicable solution.
Reactions to this discouraging news from SLC and the BCB are awaited.