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Swift steps to evacuate Lankans from two Chinese provinces: First batch to arrive in 48 hours.

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed officials to bring back all Sri Lankans including students from Wuhan and Sichuan provinces in China where the coronavirus is fast spreading.

The President's Office, the Ministry of Foreign Relations, Ministry of Health, Sri Lankan Embassy in Beijing and SriLankan Airlines have joined together in this exercise.

Once the travel restrictions imposed on Wuhan city is lifted, all Sri Lankan students there will immediately be brought back. Their cost of air travel will be borne by the government.

Measures are underway to evacuate around 150 Sri Lankan students in Chengdu in Sichuan Province within next 48 hours. A special charter flight of SriLankan Airline has been deployed for this purpose, Additional Secretary to the President on Foreign Relations Admiral Jayanath Colombage said.

Relevant officials are constantly in touch with the students through 'We Chat' group, Admiral Colobage added.

The Sri Lankan mission in Beijing has received information about 790 Sri Lankan students in different parts of China including 30 students in City of Nanning. Collecting information on Sri Lankan citizens in China is in progress, Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Relations Ravinatha Aryasinha said.

The Sri Lankan mission in Beijing has received information about a group of 30 students in City of Nanning too.

Dr. Sudath Samaraweera, Chief Epidemiologist of Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health said those who are arriving from China would be subjected to quarantine at the airport. Anyone suspected to be suffering from fever will be transferred to the IDH hospital. Their blood and urine samples will be tested at the Medical Research Institute for further clarification.

The Minister of Health Pavithra Wanniarachchi has instructed medical officials to take all necessary measures. Sri Lankan Medical Research Institute possesses the capacity to conduct the required medical checkups. The Director of the Medical Research Institute Dr. Jayaruwan Bandara said equipment and chemicals would be flown to the country if necessary.

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Geographic Code:9CHIN
Date:Jan 28, 2020
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