Sri Lanka on Monday reported the first case of Coronavirus, after a Chinese tourist tested positive, health authorities said.
“The Chinese woman is from Hubei Province and in her early 40s. She tested positive today and we have started treatment,” said Dr. Sudath Samaraweera, a spokesman of the Ministry of Health.
The tourist arrived in Sri Lanka on January 19 and reported fever on January 25, after which she was admitted to the Infectious Diseases Hospital near Colombo. “We have also sent her test samples abroad for another confirmation of the results,” Dr. Samaraweera told The Hindu. “Our doctors are very experienced and well equipped to handle the cases,” Dr. Samaraweera added.
Over the last week, Sri Lanka’s health authorities reported five cases of suspected Coronavirus. Of them, two patients tested negative and the results of other patients’ are awaited.
China was the third largest source of tourists to Sri Lanka in 2019, according to the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), contributing 9% of the total arrivals of nearly 20 lakh. India is the largest, with 19% of the tourists originating from there. SLTDA records show that over 16,000 Chinese tourists arrived in Sri Lanka in December 2019.
Meanwhile, as many as 21 Sri Lankan students were returning from China following the outbreak, the President’s office said. Further, the Civil Aviation Authority has set up a separate arrival terminal, with necessary screening mechanisms, at the Bandaranaike International Airport, officials said.