Yesterday (06) at the Presidential Secretariat, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa gifted a consignment of world renowned Ceylon Black Tea to the Chinese Ambassador Cheng Xueyuan to be sent to those affected by the Coronavirus. Ambassador Xueyuan deeply appreciated the gesture. He on behalf of President Xi Jingping and the Government of People’s Republic of China thanked Government of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan people for the kindness shown to China in this difficult moment.
He also thanked all the religious and other leaders who organized the all night Pirith sermon on 05 February. Every divisional secretariat throughout the Island conducted the Pirith ceremony at the same time, blessing those who are affected for a speedy recovery.
President Rajapaksa in turn thanked the Ambassador for the assistance extended to bring back the Sri Lankan students from Wuhan province.
“As these are students, their parents were worried,” explained the President. “So, they really appreciated that they were allowed to leave Wuhan. We hope that this epidemic will soon be brought under control. ”
Upon the President’s inquiry as to the current status of the disease, the Ambassador explained in detail that the virus was detected soon after the Chinese New Year.
“Wuhan is a very large province,” described Ambassador Xueyuan. “During the Chinese New Year, a lot of people moved in and out of the province. However, as soon as it came to the Chinese Government’s notice of this new virus and its seriousness, strict measures were taken to contain the virus and to stop it from spreading.”
“However, as this virus takes about 7 to 14 days to show its symptoms,” further explained the Ambassador, “the records will now show an increase in number of cases before it starts decreasing.”
The Chinese Government in its efforts to control the virus from spreading had placed under quarantine hospitals, entire villagers and any other place where cases of the virus had been reported. All activities had been stopped and the Government is providing supplies daily to these areas. The Chinese Government had even criminalized leaving Wuhan without informing the authorities.
“Out of the total death toll, 99 percent had been from Wuhan,” stated the Ambassador underlying the success of containing the virus. “There is only one case out of China, where a patient from Philippines had succumbed to the disease.”
The Ambassador also noted that since the Chinese New Year is not a holiday in Sri Lanka, most Chinese residing in Sri Lanka had not returned to China for the celebrations. Those who did had been asked to delay their return to Sri Lanka and those who had already returned had been asked to impose self-isolation.
The virus which is a new strain had severely disrupted all economic and social activities in China and the surrounding region. Sri Lanka too is affected by the loss of tourism and business activities. The top medic staff, including that in the Army had been mobilized to research on this new virus and the Ambassador is hopeful of a breakthrough soon.
Courtesy, presidents media