The Sri Lankan Government today assured that precautions have been taken to detect tourists visiting the country who may have been infected with a fast spreading virus in China.
Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi told Parliament that all tourists arriving in Sri Lanka have been advised to report to the health desk at the airport if they have a fever.
She also said that scanners have been placed at the airport to detect anyone with a high body temperature.
Wanniarachchi said that a Chinese child who had reported to the airport health desk with a fever was taken to hospital.
However, she said the child was found to be suffering from a normal fever and stomach bug and was discharged.
The Health Minister also said that Sri Lanka is in touch with the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the steps that need to be taken to prevent the virus from entering Sri Lanka.
The Minister was responding to a statement made by Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa in Parliament where he urged the Government to ensure all steps are taken to prevent the virus from entering Sri Lanka.
Hundreds of Chinese employed in Sri Lanka have returned to China for the traditional new year holidays. Most are expected to return to the country next month.
According to international media reports China has widened a lockdown in Hubei province – the centre of the coronavirus outbreak – as the death toll climbed to 25.
At least 10 cities in the central Chinese province, which has a population of 20 million, have travel restrictions in force.
On Thursday, a coronavirus patient died in nearby Hebei province – making it the first death outside Hubei.
There are currently 830 confirmed cases of patients infected with the virus in China.
The virus has also now been detected in Singapore. (Colombo Gazette)