Sri Lankan authorities have decided to quarantine all inbound travellers for 14 days even if they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 as a new variant has been spreading across the island nation, according to the Health Ministry.
In a statement on Thursday, the Ministry said that all travellers including Sri Lankan citizens, foreigners, tourists and diplomats, will have to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine period in designated centres in order to detect any virus carriers, reports Xinhua news agency.
In addition, all incoming passengers would also be subjected to a PCR test on arrival, as well as at the end of their quarantine period.
Children below the age of two years would be exempted from the PCR tests, the Health Ministry said.
Sri Lanka has been facing a rapid rise in Covid-19 infections this month due to the emergence of the new variant, infecting younger people.
Health authorities warned that the rising number of infected patients might overburden the country's health system, as hospitals and Intensive Care Units were filled to the maximum with severely ill patients.
The Army has said it would put up temporary treatment facilities in the worst-affected areas with more beds to assist the health workers to treat the growing number of patients.
With health experts warning that the situation might worsen in the coming weeks, Sri Lankan authorities declared a strict islandwide travel restriction that started from 11 p.m. Thursday until 4 a.m.on May 17.
According to official figures, during the month of May over 20,000 new cases have been reported with an average of 2,500 patients being detected daily.
Sri Lanka has so far reported 135,796 coronavirus cases and 892 deaths.
( 292 Words)