Alertes de sécurité

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11 mars 2020 | 04h51 UTC

Sri Lanka: First locally transmitted COVID-19 case March 11 /update 3

Sri Lanka Alerte de sécurité

Media outlets report the first locally transmitted COVID-19 case in a Sri Lankan national on March 11; further spread of the virus expected

TIMEFRAME expected from 9/3/2020, 12h00 until 1/4/2020, 11h59 (Asia/Colombo). COUNTRY/REGION Sri Lanka

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Local media outlets reported the first confirmed locally acquired case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in a Sri Lankan national on Wednesday, March 11. The individual is a tour guide for travelers from Italy, and is receiving treatment at a hospital near Colombo. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

A senior health official announced on Tuesday, March 3, that all individuals having traveled from or through Italy, South Korea, and Iran will be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine. The Ministry of Education subsequently requested on Friday, March 6, all students, teachers, and other academic and non-academic staff members returning from COVID-19-affected countries, including China, South Korea, and Italy, to undergo a 14-day quarantine.

The national carrier, SriLankan Airlines, has suspended flights to mainland China (including Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou) from March 10 through April 30, and to Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) from March 15 through April 30. Health screening measures are in place for some flight arrivals, and authorities at Colombo's Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) have announced that only ticketed passengers are allowed to enter the CMB premises.

Authorities banned cruise ship passengers from disembarking in Sri Lanka from March 3 until further notice. 


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On February 28, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the risk of spread and the risk of impact of the virus is "very high" at the global level.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone non-essential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.

Travelers returning from China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran who develop symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.


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