Coronavirus: Sri Lanka recording and tracking all arrivals to the island

VIGILANT- Passengers being scanned at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Sri Lanka. Source: AFP

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka is recording details of all arrivals to the country and tracking their movements in the island with an app given to Public Health officials to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi told reporters Thursday.

Every individual entering the country by air or sea is given a mandatory health declaration form which should be duly filled and handed over to health officials present at the terminals.

The gathered data is then fed into a database after which health care officials can access and track the movements of these individuals.

“Thereby Medical Health Officers of any division can access this app to isolate the locations of all persons who arrived in the country at any given time, within their respective divisions,” the minister said.

Wanniarachchi also claimed that they have now taken actions to integrate the standard health safety protocol in Sri Lankan harbors too.

“We have integrated these health safety measures with health officers’ activities to check the health status of all passengers arriving from ships.”

The minister claimed that the dip in arrivals was mainly due to fewer Chinese tourists coming to the country.

Only 46 Chinese nationals arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday.

Minister also said that necessary measures will be taken to display standalone banners giving information in multiple languages in the airport premises.

“We have 16 persons who we suspect are infected and tests are being done,” Anil Jasinghe, Health Services Director-General said, addressing the media.

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“We are satisfied with the ongoing screening and health safety procedures carried out at the airport as some countries have not taken any measures of this sort.”

(Colombo/Feb06/2020)

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