Written by Staff Writer
22 Jan, 2020 | 9:06 pm
Colombo (News 1st): Sri Lanka will install temperature screening machines at airports, as a pre-emptive measure to prevent a patient diagnosed with the Corona Virus from entering the country.
The decision was reached at a meeting where officials of the Civil Aviation Authority, SriLankan Airlines, Sri Lanka Air Force, Police, Customs, Immigration & Emigration Department were present.
The United States has its first confirmed case of a new virus that appeared in Wuhan, China, last month. The new virus has spread from Wuhan to several Chinese provinces, as well as Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea, the Philippines and Australia.
When inquired about the impact the virus may have on Sri Lanka, Chief Epidemiologist at the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health Dr. Samitha Ginige said awareness has been created among all officials at airports, health sector, hospitals, Civil Aviation Authority and security personnel regarding the Coronavirus.
Speaking to News 1st, the Chief Epidemiologist added that these officials have been informed about the symptoms of the virus and what measures to be taken in this regard.
News 1st then inquired from the Civil Aviation Authority. Head of the Medicine Department of the Civil Aviation Authority Dr Bimal Dias said pilots and cabin crew have been informed about the virus.
He added, “If an official comes across a patient on board with symptoms of Coronavirus, passengers seats 2 seats front, behind and aside will be examined.”
The Head of the Medicine Department of the Civil Aviation Authority further noted that awareness will be created among passengers via announcements and pamphlets.
Chinese authorities have advised people to stop travel into and out of Wuhan, the city at the centre of a new virus outbreak that has killed nine. Those living in the city of 11 million people have also been told to avoid crowds and minimize public gatherings.
There are 440 confirmed cases, with the origin of a seafood market that “conducted illegal transactions of wild animals”. Authorities also admitted that the country was now at the “most critical stage” of prevention and control.
China had earlier confirmed that human-to-human transmission of the virus had taken place. The virus, known also as 2019-nCoV, is understood to be a new strain of coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans.
Signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. But China has still not been able to confirm the exact source of the virus.
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