First local coronavirus case in Sri Lanka
by Melani Manel Perera

The first Sri Lankan infected is a tourist guide who had contact with a group of Italians. People coming from South Korea, Italy and Iran are placed in quarantine. Sri Lankans are urged to adhere to health procedures to limit contagion.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – A tourist guide who had contact with a group of Italians is Sri Lanka’s first case of local coronavirus contagion, this according to Anil Jasinghe, director general of Health Services.

The infected man, 52, is currently at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Angoda, on the outskirts of Colombo. His family lives in the capital and has been quarantined.

To avoid spreading the virus, the government now requires all travellers from South Korea, Iran and Italy to be quarantined for 14 days at three centres: the Batticaloa campus, the Kandakadu Treatment and Rehabilitation centre in the Polonnaruwa district, and the Hendala Leprosy Hospital.

The authorities believe that these measures should suffice to contain the Covid-19.

The first case recorded on the island nation was a Chinese tourist from Hubei province, who has already recovered and been discharged. The first infected Sri Lankan was a woman living in Italy.

In addition to the 52-year-old man from Colombo, two Sri Lankans were infected in the United Arab Emirates, director general Jasinghe said.

According to the Health Minister, the Arab nation has spared no effort in monitoring the spread of the virus and handling it according to the highest medical standards.

Health authorities note the people must conform to preventive measures and respect established procedures now in force around the world, like washing one’s hands, as well as covering one’s nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing.