Colombo, Jan. 28 – All Sri Lankan students arriving from Wuhan, China will be moved to and screened at the Diyathalawa army camp for two week’s time, says Minister of Health Pavithra Wanniarachchi.
She stated this addressing the special media briefing on the measures taken to curb the spread of new coronavirus, Ada Derana reports.
Minister Wanniarachchi further stated that every passenger arriving in Sri Lanka will be screened at the airport and those who have high body temperature and show symptoms of the coronavirus will be directed to the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) and other relevant hospitals. “Persons who are tested positive for coronavirus will be treated after separating them from other patients,” she added.
The 22-member national action committee appointed to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Sri Lanka convenes daily to discuss the steps that should be taken to control the situation in the island, the Health Minister commented further.
Addressing the Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe mentioned that authorities are collecting the travel itineraries of all of the passengers arriving at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) and this ‘declaration’ is now made available in Chinese as well. The travel destinations of these visitors will be inspected by PHIs from time to time, he noted.
Commenting further, Dr. Jasinghe said four thermal screeners are currently in use and the number of staff deployed in this regard has been increased. He stated that screening also takes placeat Jaffna International Airport as there are passengers entering the country, although in small numbers.
He emphasized that strict procedures have also been implemented at harbors with regard to ships anchoring in Sri Lanka.
Dr. Jasinghe said that in addition to the IDH, the Colombo North Teaching Hospital (CNTH), Gampaha Hospital, Negombo Hospital, Kandy National Hospital, Karapitiya Teaching Hospital, Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital, Jaffna Teaching Hospital, Kurunegala Teaching Hospital, Ratnapura Provincial General Hospital, Batticaloa Teaching Hospital and Badulla Provincial General Hospital are now treating persons who are suspected to be contaminated with the coronavirus.
The Medical Research Institute in Colombo has established the facilities for the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test in the country to detect 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), he added.
“In order to protect the health staff from being infected by the virus, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) have been supplied to medical officers while more stocks are to be received from the World Health Organization (WHO) and emergency purchases. There is no inadequacy of PPE in the country,” Dr. Jasinghe said noted.
Speaking further he said the Ministry of Health has issued a technical Circular to all medical officers containing instructions on treating patients infected by new coronavirus and protecting themselves from being contaminated.
He also mentioned that two hotlines have been introduced for any inquiries about the new coronavirus — 0710107107 and 0113071073.
The press conference, chaired by Health Minister, was attended by Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe, Chief Epidemiologist at the Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry Dr. Sudath Samaraweera, Deputy Director Generals of Health Services Dr. Susie Perera and Dr. Paba Palihawadana, Health Ministry’s Quarantine Unit Director Dr. S.M. Arnold, Health Ministry’s Director of Health Promotion Bureau Dr. Palitha Karunaperm and several other senior medical officers.