Ebola precautions at Mattala airport and seaports
Steps to prevent the entry of the Ebola Virus disease (EBV) at the
Mattala airport and all seaports are now under way.
Health officials told the Sunday Observer that the screening program
for new arrivals from mainly West African countries, will be extended
shortly to the Mattala airport and other entry points such as seaports
and harbours islandwide. “This is an added precaution against the
disease entering the country.
Apart from those arriving by plane there are several sailors who had
visited West African countries at risk of contracting the disease.
Although the chances of them carrying the disease to Sri Lanka is
remote, since Ebola has a very short incubation period (2-21 days) and
the ships usually take much longer to arrive here, we are not taking any
chances. Screening them will eliminate any likely possibility”, they
On-arrival visas for the four high risk African countries have also
been cancelled with immediate effect, the sources said.
“A short training program has been already conducted for port
officials and leaflets and posters were distributed at the Mattala
airport to raise awareness and provide information on detecting the
disease for those manning immigration and emigration desks, the sources
The screening system at the Katunayake airport, set up with the help
of the Airport Health Office at the Bandaranaike airport, and the
Department of Immigration and Emigration was now fully operational with
signboards and posters for all West African arrivals. “More countries
will be added to this list”, they said.
Sources said the results of the blood samples of a Sri Lankan woman
who had died after a pilgrimage to India, sent on Tuesday to Pune, India
for testing EBV on the advice of the WHO, had yet to arrive, they said.