Colombo, February 6 (newsin.asia): Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday gifted a consignment of the world-renowned Ceylon Black Tea to the Chinese Ambassador Cheng Xueyuan to be sent to those affected by the Coronavirus in his country, Shivanthi Ranasinghe, Deputy Director Presidential Media Unit, said.
Ambassador Cheng deeply appreciated the gesture and on behalf of President Xi Jingping and the Government of People’s Republic of China thanked the Government of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan people for the kindness shown to China at this difficult moment, Ranasinghe said.
Cheng also thanked all religious and others who organized an all-night Pirith ceremony on February 5. Every Divisional Secretariat throughout the Island conducted the Pirith ceremony at the same time, seeking the speedy recovery of those affected by the virus.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in turn thanked the Ambassador for the assistance extended to bring back Sri Lankan students from Wuhan province.
“As these are students, their parents were worried,” explained the President. “So, they really appreciated that they were allowed to leave Wuhan. We hope that this epidemic will soon be brought under control, ” the President said.
Upon the President’s inquiry as to the current status of the disease, the Chinese Ambassador recalled that the virus was detected soon after the Chinese New Year. “Wuhan is a very large province. During the Chinese New Year, a lot of people moved in and out of the province. However, as soon as it came to the Chinese Government’s notice of this new virus and its seriousness, strict measures were taken to contain it and stop it from spreading,” Ambassador Cheng said.
“However, as this virus takes about 7 to 14 days to show its symptoms. Therefore records will show an increase in the number of cases before it starts decreasing.”
The Chinese Government had placed under quarantine hospitals, entire villages and any other place where cases of the virus had been reported. All activities had been stopped and the Government is providing supplies to these areas daily. The Chinese Government had even criminalized leaving Wuhan without informing the authorities, the envoy said.
“Out of the total death toll, 99 percent had been from Wuhan. There is only one case out of China. A patient from Philippines had succumbed to the disease,” he added.
The Ambassador also noted that since the Chinese New Year is not a holiday in Sri Lanka, most Chinese residing in Sri Lanka had not returned to China for the celebrations. Those who did had been asked to delay their return to Sri Lanka and those who had already returned had been asked to keep themselves in isolation.
The virus which is a new strain had severely disrupted all economic and social activities in China. Sri Lanka too is affected by the loss of tourism and business activities. Top medical personnel, including those in the Army, had been mobilized to research on this new virus. Ambassador Cheng said that he is hopeful of a breakthrough soon.