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Italy: No Sri Lankans infected with coronavirus – Foreign Ministry

ECONOMYNEXT – The region in Italy where most Sri Lankans in that country live is in partial lockdown as the number of people infected with the coronavirus increased.

The BBC is reporting that officials have cut short the Venice Carnival as they try to control the worst outbreak of the virus in Europe. Italy has by far the highest number of coronavirus cases in Europe, with 152. Three people have died.

Over 104,000 Sri Lankans live in Italy and sixty per cent of them are in Lombardy the Ministry of Foreign Relations said in a Press release.

The Ministry added that presently “no Sri Lankans have fallen victim to the virus.”

The Ministry, Sri Lanka Embassy in Rome and the Consulate General Office in Milan has taken action to closely monitor and coordinate efforts to ensure the safety of Sri Lankans residing in Italy, the release said.

The Italian authorities have “imposed strict quarantine restrictions in two northern “hotspot” regions close to Milan and Venice” BBC reported.

About 50,000 people cannot enter or leave several towns in Veneto and Lombardy for the next two weeks without special permission. Even outside the zone, many businesses and schools have suspended activities, and sporting events have been cancelled.

Meanwhile the Sri Lankan missions are presently communicating with the health authorities in these regions and are in contact with Sri Lankan Temples, community leaders and all others concerned. 

Sri Lankans visiting Italy, in particular, northern Italy are requested to be vigilant and take all necessary precautions in line with rules, regulations and safety measures issued by the local authorities for the contaminant of the virus. 

Hotlines operated by the Embassy and Consulate are currently functional on a round-the-clock basis and a Help Desk is also operational in order to respond to the needs of the Sri Lankan community. (Colombo, February 24, 2020)

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-Arjuna Ranawana

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