STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Sri Lanka suspends visa on arrival for Chinese citizens after first case of coronavirus

A total of 204 students have been evacuated in the last three days.

Published: 28th January 2020 01:49 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th January 2020 01:49 PM   |  A+A-

A health official scans the body temperature of a passenger as she arrives at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Indonesia.

A health official scans the body temperature of a passenger as she arrives at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Indonesia. (File Photo | AP)

By PTI

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka on Tuesday suspended its visa on arrival facility for travellers from China, its third-largest tourism source market, a day after authorities here detected the country's first coronavirus infection.

Sudath Suraweera, the chief epidemiologist of the country's health ministry, said on Monday that a 40-year-old Chinese woman was found positive for the virus.

"She arrived on January 19 and was tested positive for the virus when she was leaving the airport on January 25. She was admitted to the infectious diseases hospital," he said.

Following the first detection of the coronavirus case, the Sri Lankan health authorities ordered the suspension of the on-arrival visa policy for Chinese nationals.

Travellers from China must apply for visa via the online portal, the authorities said.

Sri Lanka has become a major travel destination for Chinese tourists.

Many Chinese nationals also work on Chinese-funded infrastructure projects - including a seaport, port city and highways.

China was Sri Lanka's third-largest tourism source market with 167,863 arrivals last year.

The highest Chinese tourist arrivals were recorded in January and February during the peak Lunar New Year season.

The officials at Colombo international airport said the entry to airport's arrival and departure terminals had been restricted to passengers only.

Some 65 Sri Lankan students in China returned by Monday. Another flight to evacuate students is due to leave on Tuesday.

A total of 204 students have been evacuated in the last three days.

The government has said that it has completed the collection of information on students in China. A National Action Committee to prevent the spreading of coronavirus was convened on Monday.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed the committee comprising health experts.

The death toll in China's deadly coronavirus epidemic has crossed the 100 mark while the confirmed cases have gone up to 4,200.

In April last year, Sri Lanka suspended its plans to grant visas on arrival for citizens of 39 countries after the devastating Easter suicide bombings that killed nearly 360 people.

More from World.

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

IPL_2020
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp