EIGHTEEN PATIENTS UNDER OBSERVATION | Daily News


 

Coronavirus outbreak

EIGHTEEN PATIENTS UNDER OBSERVATION

guidelines for Sri Lankans, foreign nationals returning from high risk areas
Chinese woman to undergo final test
A special operation was carried out at the Mattala International Airport on Saturday to receive the 33 Sri Lankan students who were brought back from Wuhan in China via a special flight. Mattala Airport Manager Upul Kalansuriya and Sri Lanka Air Force Health Services Director Air Vice Marshal L.R. Jayaweera inspected the ground activities at the Airport. Picture: SL Army Media

A special operation was carried out at the Mattala International Airport on Saturday to receive the 33 Sri Lankan students who were brought back from Wuhan in China via a special flight. Mattala Airport Manager Upul Kalansuriya and Sri Lanka Air Force Health Services Director Air Vice Marshal L.R. Jayaweera inspected the ground activities at the Airport. Picture: SL Army Media

The Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry yesterday (02) stated that there are 18 patients suspected to have been infected with the Coronavirus are currently under surveillance.

According to the Epidemiology Unit, four patients are warded at the National Institute of Infectious Disease (NIID/IDH), two at the National Hospital, two at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital, three at the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital and seven at the National Hospital in Kandy.

The Epidemiology Unit has issued special guidelines for Sri Lankan students/ Nationals and other foreign nationals returning from high risk areas of on-going Coronavirus transmission. According to the guidelines, such persons are expected to adhere to a series of practices for a period of 14 days from the time of arrival in Sri Lanka.



The pilots and cabin crew who braved risk of Coronavirus and volunteered for mercy flight to bring back Sri Lankan students from Wuhan, China, supported by staff of many departments, on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s instructions. 
Picture courtesy: SriLankan Airlines

Accordingly, the Epidemiology Unit urges such persons to avoid public places as much as possible such as festive celebrations, parties, temples, churches, markets and all other places of public gatherings, wear a face mask as it is a social responsibility of the individual to minimize transmission of infection to other people, keep away from high risk groups as much as possible, stay in a separate room if there are provisions available, practise frequent hand washing with soap and water or suitable alcohol-based hand rub, do not share utensils with family members or other people, keep windows open to provide good ventilation to rooms, follow good hygienic practices and cover nose and mouth when coughing/sneezing with paper tissue/or cloth and proper disposal. The Epidemiology Unit has observed that it is not indicated for family members or co-workers to wear surgical face masks.

Acting Director General of Health Services Lakshman Gamlath making a special statement on the present situation in the country concerning the Coronavirus outbreak said that the biological sample of the Chinese female who was recently identified as Coronavirus positive has been sent to the Medical Research Institute of Sri Lanka.

Gamlath observed that it would be the final test run on the patient. “If the reports suggest that she has fully recovered, we shall release her from the hospital,” Gamplath said.

Speaking on the Sri Lankan students who returned from China yesterday, Acting DG Gamlath said the students have completed their first 24 hours on return to the country. “The students will have to remain at Diyathalawa for 13 more days. They will be checked every day. There are no symptoms reported from any of them until now. All the students who do not show any symptom will be returned to their guardians following the 14 days.”

Gamlath also assured that the Coronavirus is not spread via food and requested the general public not to panic due to false rumours.

“The virus would spread only through the phlegm of a person infected by this virus. The virus can spread through sneezing or coughing of a patient where the phlegm could come in contact with another persons’ body,” Gamlath also said.

Gamlath also said that no new patients have been reported as yet.

Meanwhile, the National Institute of Infectious Disease (NIID) has stated that it has provided service to 71 persons suspected of being affected by the Coronavirus. However, only one patient, a Chinese female was infected by the virus and who has successfully recovered, NIID Director Dr. Hasitha Attanayake said. Dr. Attanayake observed that daily outpatient department activities are carried out regularly and the hospital staff is fully committed to provide their service at this trying time. Dr. Attanayake urged media not to spread false news regarding the epidemic and the services provided to fight it.

“During the last few days, there were false rumours concerning our services. This is not the first time our staff is taking care of such patients. Our hospital has a history of 200 years and every time the country is affected by the epidemic, our staff, has provided its service with meager facilities. Our staff is fully committed to fighting this outbreak and all necessary medical equipment and other facilities have been provided to us by the Health Ministry. So, it is very important that we do not discourage our staff. It would be difficult to carry out this endeavour lest we do not encourage our workers. When our employees send their children to schools, the society responds to them in various manners. However, our staff face all such criticisms and commit themselves to work humbly,” Dr. Attanayake pointed out.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka recently assured the government of Sri Lanka that it has no reason to fear the in-coming of Chinese nationals after the Spring (Lunar) Festival. The Embassy of China in a statement said that exit and enter channels to Wuhan have been temporarily closed and it is improbable for local people to travel to other places including Sri Lanka.

The Chinese Embassy has also advised Chinese companies and employees from Hubei Province to halt their plans back to Sri Lanka and those from other provinces and cities to quarantine themselves for at least 14 days after arriving in Sri Lanka.

A statement issued by the Chinese Embassy also notes that Chinese authorities have halted all outbound group travels as well. Chinese authorities have also imposed strict examination and fever-detecting measures at all airports and transport hubs where suspicious cases shall not be allowed to board. 


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