Sri Lanka bans travellers from Europe as Coronavirus toll climbs
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is denying entry to travelers from nine nations in Europe as well as Iran and Korea from March 14 and 15 for two weeks as a Coronavirus toll in the island climbed, authorities shut schools, universities and public events were cancelled.
Sri Lanka reported two new cases Saturday. One was a 44 year old male returnee from Italy who was under quarantine.
The second, also an Italian returnee was found from Nathandandiya, and was not among those quarantined, Director General of Health Anil Jasinghe said.
Sri Lanka reported three cases Friday, with two from among quarantined returnees from Italy, and another who had visited Germany recently.
Sri Lanka is now treating seven persons for the Wuhan Coronavirus in hospital, while a Chinese woman who was the first had already been discharged.
Worldwide about 140,000 had contracted the Wuhan Coronavirus and over 5,000 had died so far.
Six out of 08 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in Sri Lanka are connected to Italy.
The first was a tour guide linked to an Italian tour group and the second, a colleague who had lodged with him.
Authorities were also tracking contacts of the two domestically transmitted infections.
Up to Friday 60 contacts of the first tour guide had been traced, the state information office said. Five of them were in hospital were being investigated,health authorities had said.
Officials had also traced 25 contacts of the second guide and eight of them were in hospital being investigated.
By March 14, 103 persons were in hospital under investigation.
About 1000 people were in several quarantine sites.
Authorities were also monitoring 3035 Sri Lankans who had arrived before quarantine began and 1,153 Chinese nationals.
Sri Lanka’s Civil Aviation Authority said entry to travelers from France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden and Austria will be denied from midnight March 15 for two weeks. Entry will be denied to travelers from Italy, Korea and Iran from March 14.
“President explaining the current global situation said the virus is rapidly invading many countries in Europe,” the President’s office said.
“The situation is rather serious in some countries such as France and Italy.
“Considering this development, President instructed officials to suspend issuing visa to people from European countries for two weeks
Sri Lanka military will help disinfect public transport the President’s office said.
The epidemic, which started in China was not made public until tens of thousands had already been infected.
Sri Lanka was also getting information from China on how they handled the epidemic.
Children less sick from Coronavirus, as 140,000 cases confirmed.
Mild panic buying was seen at supermarkets in the capital Thursday.
Others were buying up drugs.
“There is currently enough stock to meet three months of normal demand and we will make sure that the supply chain is not disrupted,” Kasturi Chellaraja, Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI) said in a statement.
“We need to be sensible and judicious in our reaction to the current situation and not panic.”
Lines built up at petrol stations in the capital.
“There is no shortage of fuel in the country,” the energy ministry said in a statement. “There is no need to have any fear.
Sri Lanka’s stocks plunged triggering circuit breakers three times over the last week. Stock are down 20 percent so far this year.
Cancelled Events, Online Services
Organizers of Sri Lanka Construction Expo said they were cancelling the event, as people were urged to avoid large gatherings
The Wuhan virus alos bowled out an England cricket tour of Sri Lanka.
A group of young politicians from all political parties in Sri Lanka has political parties to refrain from holding large rallies and gatherings for the next two weeks over the Wuhan Coronavirus.
Sri Lanka’s opposition leader has asked for the parliament, currently dissolved over pending elections in late April to be recalled.
Authorities asked people to avoid large gatherings and wash hands frequently.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had asked officials to look into the possibility of providing state services and schools and universities using the internet.
The government also wanted to see how 150,000 masks made everyday in the country could be domestically would be better distributed.
Sri Lanka slaps price controls on medical supplies, which analysts say could lead to shortages and leave less supplies available to most needed.
In line with World Health Organization guidelines Sri Lanka does not ask everyone to wear masks, but only those who are feeling sick and others like health professionals who come into contact with sick people. (Colombo/Mar14/2020 – Updated with new data Saturday – toll raised to 08)