(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –While China struggles to prevent a further spread of the novel coronavirus epidemic and the number of related deaths in that country to the minimum possible, Sri Lanka has been successful to restrict the 2019n-COV infections to a single patient and preempt the disease in its tracks, Health Minister Pavithradevi Wanniaarachchi said yesterday. “However, we are extremely sorry and pray for China’s recovery from this calamity and also ready to extend our help in any way possible,” she added.
By yesterday death toll in mainland China stood at 563 and the number of confirmed infections at 28,018, with 3,859 severe cases.In contrast, Sri Lanka had 16 men and women under medical observation. They were at National Hospital in Colombo -3, Kandy National Hospital – 2, Karapitiya Teaching Hospital – 1, Ragama Teaching Hospital – 2, Negombo Base Hospital – 1, Gampaha General Hospital – 1, Badulla General Hospital – 1, Teaching Hospital Kurunegala – 1 and Jaffna Teaching Hospital 1.
The Chinese woman (43) treated at the IDH, Angoda has fully recovered and remains in the hospital under medical observation.“We have not imposed a travel ban on China but closely monitoring all air and sea travellers with special focus on tourists arriving from China,” Minister Wanniarachchi said and Chinese ambassador in Colombo also expressed gratitude for the stance taken by Sri Lanka on coronavirus epidemic.
Meanwhile, Beijing has voiced anger as countries around the world placed more restrictions on travellers from China to try and contain the coronavirus outbreak that has now claimed 565 lives. Japan confirmed 10 additional cases from a quarantined cruise ship.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed a 17 member National Coronavirus Prevention Committee chaired by Western Province Governor, Dr. Seetha Arambepola. This committee keep a watchful eye round the clock on the disease and advice relevant institutions on the disease control, she said.Minister Wanniarachchi said Sri Lanka could never forget the friendly relations existed for centuries with China and cooperation and assistance extended to Sri Lanka by China at good times as well as in bad times.
She added that Sri Lanka was more than glad to assist China in whatever way to come out of this difficulty.Minister Wanniarachchi expressed disappointment over the negative effect on tourism industry in Sri Lanka as a result of the viral disease.Though we have not imposed a travel ban on Chinese tourists, the number of arrivals from China have been drastically dropped. For instance, there were only 46 tourists from China on Wednesday (05) and 30 by midnoon yesterday as opposed to around 1,500 tourists under normal situation.
Health Secretary Badrani Jayawardana, Director General, Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe, DDGHS and chief epidemiologist Dr, Sudath Samarajeewa and Dr. A.W.Herath were also present at the news briefing. (Sandun A Jayasekera)