ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka may limit the number of repatriates being brought back to the country and tighten quarantine amid a surge in Coronavirus positive cases, Chief Epidemiologist Sudath Samaraweera said.
“In 2021 we have recorded a total of 52,710 Covid positive patients and out of that 1,593 are returnees” Samaraweera told reporters today.
“We see an increase in the number of patients we find in returnees,” Samaraweera told reporters Sunday.
For example in April so far 3,480 have been identified and of that 538 or 15.5 percent are returnees, specially coming from the Middle East and Europe”
“Under these circumstances we have to review managing these repatriates we bring in.”
Samaraweera said with a ‘third wave’ of Coronavirus infections hitting other countries Sri Lanka should take precautions to keep domestic spread under control.
“Because we see an increase in patients globally and some countries are facing the third and fourth waves of the Covid virus some countries have impose travel restrictions and travel bans,” Samaraweera said.
“As in Sri Lanka we have got in to controllable level in our country therefore it will be big issue if an outbreak happens from a repatriate to the community
“Therefore we have to re view on controlling or limiting the number of repatriates we bring into the country and at the same time we may have to toughen their quarantine process as well.”
Sri Lanka had recorded a total of 96,186 patients by April 16 and 92,611 have recovered and 615 persons have died.
At the moment 2,960 are in hospitals and intermediate treatment centres.
On April 16 health authorities identified 212 new patients, including 45 returnees.
Of the 167 domestic patients, 33 are from Kurunegala district, 32 from Kaluthara district and 31 are from Gampaha district. (Colombo/ April 17/2021)