Written by Staff Writer
24 Jan, 2020 | 9:42 pm
Colombo (News 1st): China has widened a lockdown in Hubei province, the centre of the Corona virus outbreak, as the death toll climbed to 26. The travel restrictions will affect at least 20 million people across 10 cities, including the capital Wuhan, where the virus emerged.
Nationally, there are currently 830 confirmed cases of patients infected with the virus. Meanwhile, China is rushing to build a new hospital in a staggering 10 days to treat patients of the Corona virus outbreak in Wuhan.
The 1,000-bed, 25,000-square-foot facility is expected to be in use by February 3 to serve the rising number of patients.
In 2003, China erected a hospital in Beijing’s rural outskirts in barely a week to cater to a rapidly rising number of patients suffering from SARS. China’s 70,000 movie theatres, the most of any country in the world, have closed their curtains.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said that it was “too early” to declare the outbreak of the novel Corona virus in China a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) while warning that the number of cases may rise as many about the virus remain unknown.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press conference after a closed-door meeting of the Emergency Committee (EC) said “I am not declaring a public health emergency of the international concern today. As it was yesterday, the Emergency Committee was divided over whether the outbreak of novel Corona virus represents a PHEIC or not,”
The lockdown comes on the eve of Lunar New Year – one of the most important dates in the Chinese calendar when millions of people travel home. While China contributes a large chunk of the tourists that visit Sri Lanka, the last quarter of 2019 recorded 44,324 Chinese arrivals by air, while 409 tourists made their way here by sea.
About 10,000 Chinese nationals currently reside in Sri Lanka.
Embassy of Sri Lanka in China say that they are closely monitoring the evolving situation of the Corona virus infection in China and is presently in discussion with relevant Chinese authorities in Beijing and Wuhan as well as Sri Lankans in Wuhan and other parts of China.
The Embassy has been receiving queries from Sri Lankans in Hubei province especially in Wuhan as well as from their relatives in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lanka Embassy is also closely monitoring advisories issued by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Meanwhile, SriLankan Airlines implements precautionary measures to mitigate Corona virus risk in the Far East, with the safety and well-being of its valued passengers and staff being of paramount importance.
SriLankan’s cabin crew and other relevant staff have been briefed on actions to be taken on board and at airports, especially those in the Far East. The airline is also in contact with relevant aviation and health authorities who are involved in monitoring the situation.
This includes the Ministry of Health and the authorities at Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport. This was extensively discussed in parliament today.
Minister of Healthcare and Indigenous Medical Services Pavithradevi Wanniarachchi noted that each and every passenger is informed by the staff about the Airport Health Desk if they feel sick. She added that a Chinese child was taken to the health desk after detecting symptoms of the virus, however, it was as a normal illness. She said if a passenger has an illness it will be detected while passing through a screening process. She went onto note that they have taken necessary measures and no such incidents have been reported yet.
19 Feb, 2020 | 08:47 AM
14 Feb, 2020 | 04:15 PM
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