Sri Lanka imposes visa restriction on tourists

Sri Lanka imposes visa restriction on tourists
Sri Lanka imposes visa restriction on tourists

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - This comes a day after the nation reported its first case of coronavirus.

Sri Lanka on Tuesday imposed visa restriction on Chinese tourists visiting the island nation to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said that the decision was taken following talks held last night as a temporary measure to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus in Sri Lanka, Colombo Gazette reported.

This comes a day after Colombo reported its first case of coronavirus, involving a 43-year-old Chinese woman, local media reported.

The woman, who hails from the Chinese Province of Hubei, had arrived in Sri Lanka as a tourist on January 19, Sudath Samaraweera, the Chief Epidemiologist with the Ministry of Health, said.

A special committee appointed by the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to prevent the new coronavirus from spreading in Sri Lanka had proposed temporarily imposing visa restrictions on Chinese tourists.

The virus originated in Wuhan city of China in December and has since then spread to various cities around the world.

China has imposed quarantine and travel restrictions, affecting the movement of 56 million people in more than a dozen cities, amid fears that the transmission rate will accelerate as hundreds of millions of Chinese travel for the Lunar New Year.

The death toll from coronavirus in China rose to 106, while 4,515 confirmed cases of the disease have been reported in 30 provincial-level regions by the end of Monday.

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