– First batch to arrive within next 48 hours
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed officials to bring back all Sri Lankans including students in Wuhan and Sichuan provinces where the coronavirus is fast spreading.
The President’s Office, the Ministry of Foreign Relations, Ministry of Health, Sri Lankan Embassy in Beijing and SriLankan Airlines have joined together in this exercise.
Once the traveling restrictions imposed on Wuhan city is lifted, all Sri Lankan students there will immediately be brought back. Their cost of air travel will be borne by the government.
Measures are underway to evacuate around 150 Sri Lankan students in Chengdu in Sichuan Province within next 48 hours. A special charter flight of SriLankan Airline has been deployed for this purpose, Additional Secretary to the President on Foreign Relations Admiral Jayanath Colombage said.
The Sri Lankan mission in Beijing has received information about a group of 30 students in City of Nanning too.
Collecting information on Sri Lankan citizens in China is progress, Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Relations Ravinatha Aryasinha said.
Relevant officials are constantly in touch with the students through “We Chat”, Admiral Colombage said.
Dr. Sudath Samaraweera, Chief Epidemiologist of Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health said those who are arriving from China would be subjected to quarantine at airport. Anyone suspected to be suffering from fever will be transferred to the IDH hospital. Their blood and urine samples will be tested at the Medical Research Institute for further clarification.
The Minister of Health Pavithra Wanniarachchi has instructed medical officials to take all necessary measures. Sri Lanka Medical Research Institute possess the capacity to conduct required medical checkups. Director of the Medical Research Institute Dr. Jayaruwan Bandara said equipment and chemicals would flown to the country if necessary.