Corona Virus : All public gatherings will be banned if situation worsens – Minister of Health

Corona Virus : All public gatherings will be banned if situation worsens – Minister of Health

Corona Virus : All public gatherings will be banned if situation worsens – Minister of Health

Written by Staff Writer

11 Mar, 2020 | 8:07 pm

Colombo (News 1st) – The first Sri Lankan to have been tested positive for the Coronavirus was reported today. Health authorities said that the patient is receiving treatment at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases.

The patient who has been identified as a resident of Kottawa had been admitted to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases two days ago. The National Institute of Infectious Diseases stated that the patient who had been diagnosed with the virus yesterday, is not in a critical condition, despite showing certain symptoms. The family members of this individual are also being quarantined at their residence. It has been revealed that the patient had been employed as a guide for certain tourist groups.

Chairman of the Institute of National Tourist Guide Lecturers Mahesh Priyadharshana noted that the person in question had guided a group of tourists from the 3rd to the 8th of this month and that he had been stating in the drivers quarters of hotels during the tour.  Priyadarshana also highlighted the need for an efficient system to monitor foreign tourist groups.

Director-General of Health Services Dr Anil Jasinghe said that health officials are investigating the family members and other persons who came in contact with the patient. He added that health authorities would face a tough time controlling the spread of the virus if a similar situation to what occurred in Italy occurred. He added that officials have requested the general public from undertaking religious pilgrimages as well.

Jasinghe added that children and youth are less likely to be affected by the disease. While highlighting that Pneumonia is one of the main symptoms of the virus, Jasinghe also called on the public to maintain the highest standards of personal hygiene.

Minister of Health Pavithra Wanniarachchi noted that officials would have to ban all public gatherings if the situation takes a turn for the worse. However, she noted that the administration does not feel the need to do this immediately. She also called on the general public to assist health authorities to curb the spread of the disease.

Meanwhile, the President’s Media Division has requested the support of the public in the government’s efforts to curb the spread of the virus.

The Ministry of Foreign Relations noted that it is holding talks with the government of the United Arab Emirates in which two Sri Lankans were diagnosed with the virus. More than 275,000 Sri Lankan citizens are currently in the UAE. The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment has also requested those seeking foreign employment, to postpone such plans due to the current situation.


The Anuradhapura Police today received a tip-off regarding a foreign couple who were suffering from an illness and were lodging at a rest house in Anuradhapura. Our correspondent said, the foreign couple had then been admitted to the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital. The admitted couple are a 72-year-old lady and a 65-year-old male. The couple had arrived in the country on the 28th of last month and had traveled to several areas of the country. The Director of the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital had directed the couple to be treated in an isolation chamber.

Meanwhile, a woman reported to be suffering from phlegm and shortness of breath had admitted herself to the Chilaw District General Hospital this evening. According to our correspondent, the woman who is 56 years of age had arrived in the country from overseas on the 3rd of this month. The staff at the hospital who exercised precautionary measures while treating the woman had transferred her to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases. Reports have also emerged that the woman in question had organized a gathering for a group of people after arriving in the country as well.


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