No decision to close schools or postpone sports meets – Education Ministry

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The Government has not decided to close schools or postpone sports meets due to novel coronavirus ((2019-nCoV) which is mostly spread in mainland China, Acting Education Minister Bandula Gunawardana said.

He told reporters in Colombo this afternoon, Gunawardana said that an unnecessary fear has been created among the parents and school children about the influenza virus.

Secretary to the Ministry of Education N.H.M Chithrananda said that the Ministry has instructed the school principals to carry out the extra-curricular activities as usual since halting such activities would cause unnecessary fear among the public.

Gunawardana further said that neither the Health Ministry nor the Education Ministry has instructed the people to use face masks.

“Some businessmen are trying to fish in troubled waters by implying that it is mandatory to wear face masks. They tend to sell face masks at higher prices which is a bad situation. If such a requirement to wear facemasks arises the Health Ministry and Education Ministry will give necessary instructions,” the Minister added.

Meanwhile addressing the media, GMOA (Government Medical Officers’ Association) representative Dr Samantha Ananda noted that influenza which has similar symptoms of novel coronavirus is spread in Sri Lanka at present.

‘Therefore, those who have been infected by influenza should use facemasks to prevent it from spreading among others,” Dr Ananda said.

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