COVID-19: Sri Lanka bans travelers from India with immediate effect
Sri Lanka became the latest country on Thursday to announce that all arrivals from India will be banned with immediate effect due to the record rise in COVID-19 cases in the neighboring country. Several countries like UK, USA, Canada, the UAE, New Zealand, Australia, Maldives, and Singapore have already banned travelers from India as well as other South Asian countries. Here are more details.
DGCA wrote to the CEO of Srilankan Airlines
The Director-General of Civil Aviation of Sri Lanka wrote to the CEO of the national carrier Srilankan Airlines. The letter said, "In accordance with instructions received from health authorities of Sri Lanka due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, it is hereby directed that passengers traveling from India will not be permitted to disembark in Sri Lanka with immediate effect."
The UK variant is fast-spreading in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is currently experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases, nearly 2,000 new cases have been reported during each of the last five days, up from an average of 200 per day up until mid-April. "Described as the New Year cluster coming from the traditional New Year festivities in mid-April, the current wave is from the fast-spreading UK variant," the health authorities said.
Sri Lanka functioned as a transit hub for Indian travelers
Sri Lanka had functioned as a transit hub for Indians visiting other destinations like West Asia and Singapore before which they needed to be quarantined for 14 days. This was an arrangement by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority.
Sri Lankan migrant workers are allowed to return
The Sri Lankan tourism authorities were to continue receiving Indian tourists under a travel bubble for which special facilities were set up. This was despite the current difficult situation in India. However, Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has issued instructions to allow Sri Lankan migrant workers to return to the country.
Lankan Navy has increased surveillance of north and north-eastern seas
Last week the Sri Lankan Navy announced as a COVID-19 containment measure that they had increased surveillance of north and north-eastern seas to check the possibility of infected Indian fishermen crossing the international waters and making contacts with the locals.
India recorded more than 4.12 lakh cases on Wednesday
India is witnessing an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases and COVID-19 deaths, with no relief in the coming days. New coronavirus cases and deaths in India hit a record daily high with 4,12,262 new infections and 3,980 fatalities being reported, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 2,10,77,410 and the death toll to 2,30,168.