Written by Pavani Hapuarachchi
08 May, 2020 | 8:34 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st): Malaria tests will be conducted on all passengers who arrive in the island from overseas, in addition to the PCR test, while they are in quarantine.
“In the event any person who arrive in the island show symptoms of fever while in quarantine, the Malaria test will also be conducted on them in addition to the PCR test,” told Dr. Prasad Ranaweera – Director of the Anti Malaria Campaign of the Ministry of Health on Friday (8th May).
Dr. Ranaweera went onto note that during the course of this year, the Anti Malaria Campaign has diagnosed 9 cases of Malaria in the country.
“The last case was a person who returned from Kenya and was diagnosed two days after his mandatory quarantine period from the Puttalam district. Therefore, we have informed all quarantine centres to be aware of people who may have contracted Malaria among those quarantined,” told Dr. Ranaweera.
Dr. Ranaweera also said that there is now a risk of a species of mosquito carrying Malaria, spreading in the Northern province; adding the Anti Malaria Campaign first detected this new vector mosquito belonging to “Genes anopheles stephensi” from the Pesalei region in Mannar district, in 2017.
“This was a mosquito transmitting Malaria in urban areas; currently it has spread in the Nallur MOH division in Jaffna, Vavuniya district and some parts of Kalmunai region. The mosquito is resistant to chemical larvicide. It breeds in clear water similar to Dengue mosquitoes,” said Dr. Ranaweera.
Dr. Ranaweera requested people to obtain Malaria Prophylaxis before travelling to Malaria endemic countries.
Sri Lanka reported its last case of locally transmitted Malaria in 2012 and the World Health Organisation declared Sri Lanka as a Malaria free nation in 2016.
Since then according to Dr. Ranaweera around 50 cases of Malaria are diagnosed in the country annually, from people who return after travelling to Malaria endemic countries.
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