BIA Quarantine Unit to screen passengers with symptoms | Daily News


 

Coronavirus infection

BIA Quarantine Unit to screen passengers with symptoms

The Health Ministry has already taken steps to inform the Quarantine Unit of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) to screen passengers arrive with symptoms of possible Coronavirus infection, Health Ministry spokesman said.

“According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there is no need to restrict travelling due to this virus infection and therefore there is no need for Sri Lanka to implement any travel restrictions,” he said.

Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Sudath Samaraweera advises the Sri Lankan public to take certain precautions to prevent all types of infectious airborne diseases including coronavirus.

Infants, children, pregnant mothers, elderly, people who suffer from chronic diseases etc. should avoid visiting crowded places when possible. Hands should be washed with soap often. Avoiding touching the face is another precaution issued by the Epidemiology Unit.

Meanwhile, health experts stressed the importance of wearing masks for the people who visit China and avoiding crowded public places whenever possible.

Coronaviruses are common in many different species of animals, including camels and bats. Rarely, these coronaviruses can evolve and infect humans and then spread between humans. Like other coronaviruses, likely spreads from an infected person’s respiratory secretions, such as through coughing etc. Infected people have spread MERS-CoV to others in crowded public places, healthcare institutions etc.

Meanwhile, when contacted by the Daily News, the Airport Health Officer Dr. D.R. Perera confirmed that the screening of the passengers from Wuhan Province in China has already been commenced at the BIA premises for the past two weeks.

According to him, the other passengers from China are not being screened so far unless they have signs or symptoms of the said disease.

He said a decision on the screening of all passengers arriving in the country should be made collectively by the WHO and the Sri Lankan Health Ministry along with the other relevant authorizes.

“A total screening does not take place at the moment as we have not been informed of such a decision by the Health Ministry or the Ministry’s Epidemiology Unit,” he added.

Dr. Perera said there is no need to conduct a total screening as it is costly.

Any passenger identified with the symptoms of the Corona viruses (CoV) will be admitted to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (IDH) in Angoda and samples of the patient are sent to the Medical Research Institute of Colombo.

However, the WHO is yet to identify the source of the novel coronavirus and the mode(s) of transmission. It is not yet confirmed if the disease is transmitted from human to human.


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