Sri Lanka delays opening airport for tourists after new Coronavirus cluster

UNCERTAIN – Officials unsure of when the BIA can open for incoming tourists.

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has decided to delay the re-opening of its airports to foreigners a report said, after a new Coronavirus cluster developed around a rehabilitation centre for drug users and staff who were on leave.

“Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) will not be reopened in mid-August as previously planned,” Prasanna Ranatunga, Tourism and Aviation Minister was quoted by Daily FT, a financial newspaper.

“We cannot give an exact date for the reopening of the airport. The top priority of the Government is to contain the spread of COVID-19 and to repatriate Sri Lankans still stranded in various parts of the world”.

Sri Lanka has contained the spread of Coronavirus through aggressive contact tracing and Coronavirus but observers have found gaps in testing compared to successful countries like Vietnam especially in the early stages when testing was confined to a hospital setting.

Even now Sri Lanka gives a ‘certificate’ after two weeks in quarantine but Vietnam does it after another two weeks of home quarantine.

The latest Covid-19 cluster which developed around a drug rehabilitation centre may have been connected to an earlier cluster linked to drug addicts, the head of Sri Lanka’s Health Service Anil Jasinghe said.

Up to the morning of July 12, authorities have found 492 Coronavirus cases.

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Sri Lanka Confirms 492 Coronavirus cases in drug rehabilitation Covid-19 cluster

By 2330 hours on July 12 Sunday, 106 new cases were confirmed mostly linked to the new cluster taking the total confirmed so far to 2,617 prompting the closing of schools and cancelling elections rallies.

Sri Lanka was originally planning to open for tourists in August with no mandatory quarantine but multiple tests.
(Colombo/July13/2020-update II)