Sri Lanka may impose restrictions on foreign arrivals to control spread of COVID-19 due to the increase in the number of Covid positive cases reported among the visitors to the island, the Director of the Epidemiology Unit, Dr. Sudath Samaraweera said on Saturday.
Dr. Samaraweera said some 15 percent of the positive cases reported this month have arrived from overseas and the foreign arrivals to the country have to be regulated to prevent further spread of the coronavirus that has infected over 96,000 people and claimed 615 lives.
“This year, 52,710 Covid patients have been reported in the country and 1,593 of them are patients who came to this country from foreign countries and identified during quarantine. Accordingly, we can see an increase in the number of patients coming from foreign countries. For example, out of 3,480 cases identified in our country so far in April, 538 were from foreign countries and they are being quarantined,” he said.
“This includes those arriving from the Middle East and Europe. In this situation we have to review again the management of foreign arrivals to the country,” Dr. Samaraweera added.
Due to the extensive spread of Covid disease in some parts of the world, countries have tightened restrictions and some countries have even suspended flights altogether, he pointed out.
“In such a situation, we take a positive step in our country and take action to control the spread of COVID-19 disease. The COVID-19 situation in Sri Lanka is currently at controlled state and therefore, it is important to maintain the momentum. In order to maintain that status quo, we have to in some way restrict and control the influx of returnees to the country in order to minimize the potential harm of the virus entering society, ” specialist Dr. Sudath Samaraweera said.