Jan 29, 2020

PM appreciates support of Chinese govt.

Prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has appreciated the support given by the Chinese government to Sri Lankans, particularly the large number of Sri Lankan students studying in China, during the present period of difficulty and in facilitating return travel to Sri Lanka for those wishing to do so.

He also expressed solidarity with the Government of China as it grappled with this medical emergency.

The PM had made these comments at a meeting held today (28) with the senior officials from Presidential Secretariat, Prime Minister’s Office, Health, Education, Tourism, Foreign Affairs, Immigration & Emigration, Postal Service, Fisheries, Disaster Management and other relevant officials.

Responsible media practices

While expressing satisfaction on the precautions taken and preparedness shown in managing the possible challenges posed from the Coronavirus in Sri Lanka, the PM has urged the media and social media to act responsibly when reporting related developments.

Coronavirus confirmed patient recovering

Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi had emphasised that only one confirmed case has been diagnosed in the country so far and this Chinese national was recovering at the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Angoda.

She also briefed on the measures the health authorities were taking to screen passengers who might have been vulnerable to contracting the Coronavirus, and on the preparedness of the Sri Lankan health services both in Colombo and in the Provinces in dealing with any suspected cases.

No travel restrictions

Although no travel restrictions has been imposed on Chinese nationals, all visitors from China are requested to seek online visa in advance, prior to visiting Sri Lanka. 

The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Immigration and Aviation authorities has introduced screening required in keeping with International Health Regulations.

Request to repatriate Lankans in Wuhan, pending

The meeting was also briefed on the steps taken under the direction of the Ministry of Foreign Relations by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Beijing and the Consulate General offices in Shanghai and Guangzhou to facilitate the welfare of the Sri Lankan students presently in Wuhan City, which is in lockdown status.

On the instructions of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a request to repatriate the Sri Lankan students and families numbering 33 from Wuhan City is pending clearance from the Chinese authorities. The Sri Lankan students and other Sri Lankans in China who wish to return, have been also facilitated at 50% discounted airfares by SriLankan Airlines. Air China and China Eastern Airlines have also offered 45% and 50% discounts respectively.