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Wednesday May 19th, 2021
Health

Wuhan virus: SL not in danger zone but maintain caution, say health officials

Despite an earlier assurance that Sri Lanka is out of danger from the coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, the Government Epidemiology Unit advised the public to continue to be cautious.

Chief Epidemiologist of the Government Epidemiology Unit Sudath Dr Samaraweera said today that though Sri Lanka was out of the “danger Zone”, all pre-emptive measures have been taken to prevent an infected patient from entering the country.

These measures include a high tech screening mechanism installed at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA).

Sri Lanka is among a number of countries the World Health Organisation (WHO) had alerted to the spread of what is now referred to as Wuhan Pneumonia.

Officials at the Ministry of Health’s Public Health Service Unit said the Quarantine Department of the Health Ministry is keeping a close watch on visitors to Sri Lanka from China.

Health officials will be looking into symptoms and, if necessary, will carry out further investigations at the Airport Quarantine Unit.

Samaraweera told EconomyNext that people can prevent a possible spread of the infection by “regular hand-washing, covering the mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing and by avoiding close contact with anyone showing respiratory illness”.

According to a WHO statement, common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. “In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure or even death,” the organisation said.

In an email to this website, WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic said: “The WHO has encouraged all countries to enhance their surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI), to carefully review any unusual patterns of SARI or pneumonia cases and to notify WHO of any suspected or confirmed case of infection with novel coronavirus.”

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