Sri Lanka’s Health Ministry has declared the Hendala Leprosy Hospital as the first quarantine center in the country.
The decision was taken at the National Action Committee on Coronavirus when the Committee met with the Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine, Women and Child Affairs and Social Security Pavithra Wanniarachchi at the Health Ministry.
According to the decision, all passengers from Iran, South Korea and Italy which are under a threat of rapid spread of coronavirus will be quarantined for 14 days at this center.
Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe said that, “According to a decision by the National Working Group on Coronavirus, passengers from Iran, South Korea and Italy will be quarantined for 14 days. Following our decision, we selected the Hendala leprosy hospital complex, which is now the first quarantine center in the country. This premises is ideal for quarantine process. Previously, students from Wuhan were brought to Sri Lanka and placed under quarantine at Diyatalawa. It is not sick people who are quarantined. If the virus is infected they will be hospitalized, not quarantined. They are quarantined even if they do not have the disease, but somehow if there is any coronavirus virus in them, the germ remains for 14 days. After that the virus will no longer exist.”
“This is a decision coming from the Government of Sri Lanka. With the assistance of the Sri Lanka Army, the entire quarantine facility will be fully in operation. The staff will carry out its duties. Steps will be taken to provide all necessary facilities during the period these persons are kept within the quarantine premises. If the virus is not controlled in this manner and the disease can easily come into the country, just like in the above mentioned countries. If we do not take swift measures, the epidemic shall then become uncontrollable,” Dr. Jasinghe added.
“Hence we are taking this scientific measure. Hendala Leprosy Hospital authorities have confirmed and assured that there is no health issues that will affect the people around them. This decision is made in accordance with the powers vested on the Director General of Health Services in accordance with the Quarantine and Prevention Ordinance. For this purpose, the support of the public must be extended to the health sector,” Dr. Jasinghe said.