The SriLankan Airlines UL-1423, carrying the relatives of 33 Sri Lankan students and their families in Wuhan, China, landed at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport in Mattala this morning.
They were escorted by special bus to the detention center at the Diyatalawa Army Camp, where they are to be kept for 14 days undergoing a medical check-up.
Due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus, Chinese authorities have shut down Wuhan last week, and the Sri Lankan government has begun talks with the Chinese authorities to free the Sri Lankan students and students.
As a result of these discussions, a SriLankan Airlines flight from Katunayake was flown by a SriLankan Airlines flight yesterday (31) evening with a specially trained crew to repatriate Sri Lankans from Wuhan.
China’s acting ambassador to Sri Lanka, K. Yoganathan, said that the special flight was resumed at Tianjin Airport in Wuhan around 4.05 am local time. The Acting Ambassador said 580 Sri Lankan students have returned to Sri Lanka by now.
The Civil Aviation Authority said it was taking measures to prevent coronavirus from entering the country through passengers. The Ministry of Health said people living around in hospitals with suspicious patients were not at risk of contracting the virus.
Dr. Paba Palihawadana, Deputy Director of Health Services at the Ministry of Health, said that the disease can be transmitted by sneezing or coughing, which will dissolve the body fluids such as mucus or saliva.
Nevertheless, neither the Epidemiology Unit nor the World Health Organization has not recommended yet that Sri Lankans wear masks.