Colombo, March 16 (newsin.asia): The Airport & Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Limited (AASL) has refuted rumors about plans to shut down the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) at Katunayake due to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).
A press release issued by the Ministry of Defense said on Monday that the international airports except the one in Jaffna will continue to function as normal.
AASL Chairman Maj. Gen.(Retd) G.A Chandrasiri said that all the airports would continue normal operations and there is no need to panic. He urged people not to be swayed by certain social media posts. There are deliberate attempts to create social anxiety and tension to with ulterior motives.
“International flights to and from Jaffna are temporarily halted as a precautionary measure, but none of the scheduled domestic operations are affected,” he told the defence.lk.
Meanwhile, commenting on the preparedness at the international airports in adopting screening, identification and pre-quarantine measures, Maj. Gen. Chandrasiri said that safety gears and equipment including scanners were installed adequately at the BIA.
“Prior to landing, the passengers are being notified to declare their medical status and not to take unnecessary risks endangering others. On arrival, passports of passengers are checked thoroughly by the officials to confirm the last airport of departure and the countries that they were living in or visiting,” he said.
“There are no chances for passengers to hide the original place of residence or the places they had visited if they were coming from one of the COVID-19-hit countries,” the General added.
Earlier, there was information that some Sri Lankans who were living or visiting in COVID-19-hit countries had taken flights from other countries to avoid the existing quarantine process.
According to AASL Chairman, passengers are directed towards five help desks which function under the supervision of medical doctors, who will conduct a mandatory medical screening.
“Once the passengers passed the screening, the well-experienced immigration officials will re-check the passports for any discrepancies with the initially declared details”, he added.
Maj.Gen.Chandrasiri said the Individuals who are suspected of being infected would be isolated and directed separately to undergo preliminary quarantine measures.
“Following the initial quarantine measures, the suspected individuals will be escorted to the quarantine facilitates established across the island,” he said.