ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will not permit travellers from Italy, Iran and South Korea board aircraft coming to Sri Lanka from Saturday March 14 in a measure to curb the spread of Coronavirus infection as the country reported its second domestically transmitted case.
“As the numbers of the confirmed cases continue to rise in these three countries, it is a prompt decision taken by Sri Lanka and the authorities concerned to stop the virus entering the country,” said Shehan Sumanasekera, Director Operations Airport and Aviation Services Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka will turn back passengers who have traveled from these three countries from Saturday March 14 until March 28.
“Accordingly all airlines are strongly advised not to board during the aforementioned period in any of their flights destined to Sri Lanka, any passenger either originating from Iran, Italy or South Korea or who has been in any of those countries within the last 14 days,” Sumanasekera said.
Sri Lanka confirmed its second COVID-19 patient on March 12, who has had close contact with the first domestically contracted Coronovirus patient who had guided an Italian tour group.
From March 10th, 2020, all arrivals from Iran, Italy and South Korea were sent to quarantine centers in Batticaloa.
So far there are 935 people are quarantined in these centers. Sri Lanka is running out of quarantine space and some travellers had refused to go to the centres.
Authorities in Sri Lanka has urged the public not to panic but take steps to avoid risks by staying away from crowded places, washing hands frequently and maintaining distance.
Anyone with fever or cough has been asked to wear a mask and seen medical advice.
The government also shut schools, to calm fears of parents, though the education minister said there was no medical reasons to do so.
Coronavirus is also spreading to other countries. The wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tested positive for the new coronavirus, his office said. (Colombo/Mar12/2020 – Update III)