Threat of Covid-19: Govt. focuses on precautions 

  • Reopening airport only after health authorities’ approval
  • Steps to control entrance of illegal immigrants
  • Flights repatriating Sri Lankans to be limited

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

The Government reiterated that it will not reopen the country’s airports until a guarantee has been issued by the health authorities that there was no Covid-19 risk within the country, Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga said yesterday (16).

He told the media that the Sri Lanka Navy was taking all steps to control the entrance of illegal immigrants from India, where the Covid-19 virus is fast spreading.

The Minister also noted that there was a proper plan to control the pandemic within the country and only once it is 100% successful will the country be reopened.

Meanwhile, the Government is also considering limiting the number of flights arriving in Sri Lanka carrying repatriated Sri Lankans, with the increasing number of Covid-19-positive cases reported among them.

Speaking to The Morning, Military Spokesman Brigadier Chandana Wickramasinghe said that all the flights that came to Sri Lanka carrying repatriated Sri Lankans either carried Covid-19-positive cases or became positive within 14 days of quarantine.

Therefore, the Government is now taking precautions, the Military Spokesman said.

On Sunday (13), 39 arrivals tested positive for Covid-19 in Sri Lanka while on Monday (14), 26 returnees were detected with the virus and most arrivals who tested positive for the virus were returnees from the Middle East.

A total of 3,271 novel coronavirus cases have been reported in the country thus far, while 237 of them are currently undergoing treatment at hospitals.

Over 250,000 PCR tests have been carried out in Sri Lanka for the detection of the Covid-19 infection, stated the National Operation Centre for Prevention of Covid-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO). 

On Tuesday (15), 1,810 PCR tests were carried out across the country and a total of 257,477 PCR tests have been carried out in the country to date.

Meanwhile, the NOCPCO said that a total of 41,192 individuals have been sent back home after quarantine as of last morning (16) and currently, 6,255 persons in 59 tri-forces-managed quarantine centres are still in quarantine.

Meanwhile, 11 positive Covid-19 cases, all expatriates, left hospitals after full recovery early last morning.

Accordingly, 638 individuals associated with the Kandakadu Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre have left thus far after recovery and only a total of 11 infected persons connected to the Rehabilitation Centre are still undergoing treatment.