Wuhan students will return tomorrow morning – Officials

ECONOMYNEXT – The 33 Sri Lankan students currently living in Wuhan, the epicentre of the Novel Coronavirus outbreak, are expected to return to Colombo early tomorrow morning, official sources told EconomyNext.

The Sri Lankan Airlines aircraft which will bring the students back to their anxious parents has left Colombo and is expected to begin its five-hour return flight around midnight Chinese time.

On arrival in Sri Lanka, the students are expected to be transported to the Diyatalawa Army camp where they will be quarantined for a two week period, Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi told reporters earlier this week.

The students are among nearly 2,500 students studying in China. Most of them were not in that country when the virus outbreak took place as they had come home for the Winter vacation.

The Charge ‘d Affairs of Sri Lanka’s Embassy in Berlin K K Yoganathan was quoted in the Media as saying that 864 students had contacted the Embassy while 488 had made arrangements to come to Sri Lanka.

Special arrangements were needed for the students in Wuhan as the city is in lockdown and citizens are not permitted to move about. Essentials and food items were being distributed to the citizens by the authorities.

Sri Lanka applied for permission to land an aircraft in Wuhan and the Hubei Provincial Council gave the clearance yesterday.

CNN is reporting that nearly 10,000 confirmed cases of the Novel Coronavirus have been reported worldwide with 213 deaths. The report said 9,700 cases are in China, mostly in Hubei Province where Wuhan is located.

Yesterday was also the deadliest day for China with 40 deaths reported in Hubei Province, CNN said.

India has reported its first confirmed case from the State of Kerala. More than 20 countries have reported Novel Coronavirus positive cases and the United Kingdom reported its first two cases yesterday.

Yesterday the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International concern. (Colombo, January 31, 2020)

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