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Sri Lanka confirms first case of coronavirus

Ali Shareef
28 January 2020, MVT 12:07
Arriving passengers are seen on screens of a thermal scanner, to check the body temperature, at Bandaranaike International Airport on January 24, 2020, following the coronavirus outbreak in China. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI / AFP)
Ali Shareef
28 January 2020, MVT 12:07

Sri Lankan health ministry on Monday confirmed the first case of coronavirus in the country.

Health authorities reportedly revealed that a 43-year-old Chinese woman hospitalized in Sri Lanka tested positive for the coronavirus.

According to Director of the Epidemiology unit Dr Sudath Samaraweera, the Chinese national had arrived in Sri Lanka from the Hubei province in China, and was admitted to the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) on January 25.

In the wake of the discovery of the deadly new virus in the country, Sri Lankan authorities urged the public to exercise caution and remain calm, reminding the public that the IDH was built to contain and treat such diseases.

The new flu-like virus, first reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province, has killed more than 100 people and infected more than 4,500 others.

Although most cases identified remain in China, more than a dozen other countries have so far reported cases.

Besides Sri Lanka and mainland China, confirmed cases of infection have been recorded in Australia, Canada, Cambodia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Nepal, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.

Sri Lanka has over 20,000 Maldivian residents, making it the largest Maldivian community outside of the country.

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