Coronavirus in Srilanka : Updates, Precautions & Countermeasures

Earlier this year, the existence & global prevalence of the novel Coronavirus was confirmed by the World Health Organisation, United Nations (WHO). While the virus seems to have originated from China - with over 800 cases, the virus has been reported to be transferable. 

The WHO has provided various guidelines to tackle the Coronavirus. The public health announcement suggests that the global public, specially international travellers, keep the following in mind:
  • Wear a mask, specially if:
    • Around anyone who is coughing or sneezing
    • You are coughing or sneezing
  • Sanitise your hands with alcohol-based hand soap/soap and water regularly, specially if you have touched any public object.
  • Avoid touching the front of your mask. Sanitise if you do. Remove your mask by touching it from behind.
  • Dispose off the mask safely. 

All countries have begun ensuring that the virus is contained. Similarly, Sri Lanka has taken adequate steps to ensure that travel to the Island-Country is safe. As of now, there has only been 1 case of the virus in Sri Lanka. She was a Chinese national, early ‘40s, and was under strict medical supervision, eventually discharged. There were a few more suspected cases of which two have already been identified as safe and uninfected.

On 27th January, the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health declared that certain necessary precautions have already been implemented at the ports of entry. A 24*7 health desk has been set up at the Bandaranaike International Airport to screen all travellers who show symptoms such as high fever, cough, cold and difficulty in breathing. 

Appropriate measures including investigation and treatment will be followed for those who are found to have the virus. Thermal scanners have also been installed at the airport. A separate exit terminal has been set up for all flights arriving from China. Special guidelines have been made for hotels to ensure sanitation and safety for all guests and travellers. Specific instructions to regularly sanitise anything commonly touched by guests have been given. In general, hotel staff have been advised to avoid physical contact with guests. 

In case you, your travel companions or anybody you encounter appear to be affected by the Coronavirus, do contact the Sri Lanka Coronavirus Helpline at (+94) 710 107 107 / (+94) 113 071 073.

This post was published by Aishvarya Varma

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