Coronavirus (COVID-19) –

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Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face.

The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).

At this time, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments. WHO will continue to provide updated information as soon as clinical findings become available.

To prevent infection and to slow transmission of COVID-19, do the following:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or clean them with alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Maintain at least 1 metre distance between you and people coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.
  • Refrain from smoking and other activities that weaken the lungs.
  • Practice physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary travel and staying away from large groups of people.

The COVID-19 virus affects different people in different ways.  COVID-19 is a respiratory disease and most infected people will develop mild to moderate symptoms and recover without requiring special treatment.  People who have underlying medical conditions and those over 60 years old have a higher risk of developing severe disease and death.

Common symptoms include:

  • fever
  • tiredness
  • dry cough.

Other symptoms include:

  • shortness of breath
  • aches and pains
  • sore throat
  • and very few people will report diarrhoea, nausea or a runny nose.

People with mild symptoms who are otherwise healthy should self-isolate and contact their medical provider or a COVID-19 information line for advice on testing and referral.

People with fever, cough or difficulty breathing should call their doctor and seek medical attention.

“Home quarantining” refers to keeping visibly healthy, possible high-risk contacts separately at non-health care settings. High risk contacts include individuals returning to Sri Lanka from countries where local transmission has been established for coronavirus infection, and those who had maintained close contact with a suspected or diagnosed case of COVID- 19. Such high risk contacts must be home quarantined for 14 days to prevent community transmission.

Following measures are expected to be followed under this concept:

  1. Consider to allocate a separate room with adequate ventilation at home if possible and household members should stay in another room or to be separated from the returnee.
  2. Maintain at least one meter distance from family members.
  3. Preferably, household members should use a separate bathroom. But, if sharing the same bathroom, cleaning of taps, doorknobs and utensils with soap and water are a
  4. Need to minimize visitors to home and returnee should not face any visitors.
  5. Frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time and maintain alcohol based hand hygiene in instances where hand washing facilities are inadequate
  6. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  7. Home quarantined person is expected to monitor body temperature using a thermometer twice a day. If gets fever , cough, difficulty in breathing, sore throat, body aches and pain, including flue like symptoms, immediately inform MOH / PHI of the area immediately.
  8. The disposable facemasks and gloves after use should be properly discarded without reuse, preferably in a closed container.
  9. Assign separate dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, and other items for the quarantined person.
  10. Used utensils, bed linen and clothes should wash with soap and water

Self-monitoring with active public health supervision

1. MOH is the responsible officer for field supervision and follow up of home
quarantined persons.

2. MOH assigns Public Health Inspector (PHI) for monitoring of quarantined persons.

3. PHI also will check their health status daily by visiting, by a telephone inquiry, SMS throughout the quarantine 14 days’ period.

4. In case of a person with signs and symptoms, PHI should immediately inform the MOH and the Regional Epidemiologist.

5. Transportation of suspected patient is arranged through “1990 on-call ambulance (Suwaseriya) service” to the nearest government hospital or to the designated hospitals.

6. Regional Director of Health Services (RDHS) and Provincial Director of Health Services (PDHS) support in administrative activities and Provincial / District Consultant Community Physicians (CCP) and Regional Epidemiologist are providing technical support.

Infectious Diseases Hospital – IDH
National Hospital – Colombo
De Soysa Hospital for Women – Colombo
Lady Ridgeway Hospital – Colombo
General Hospital – Mulleriyawa
Teaching Hospital – Ragama
District General Hospital – Negombo
District General Hospital – Gampaha
National Hospital – Kandy
Teaching Hospital – Karapitiya
General Hospital – Hambantota
Teaching Hospital – Jaffna
Teaching Hospital – Batticaloa
Teaching Hospital – Anuradhapura
Provincial General Hospital – Kurunegala
Provincial General Hospital- Badulla
Teaching Hospital – Ratnapura

Emergency Contact

‘SuwaSariya’ Ambulance Service

Police Emergency Call Centre

President Task Force

0112 422 222
Fire And Rescue / Ambulance

Tourist Police

General Hospital – COLOMBO

Health Promotion Bureau

011-3090502 / 113
Information And Complaints Regarding Quarantine Process

Disaster Unit Of The Ministry Of Health

Myths about Covid-19


Digital Media - Learn More

The Coronavirus Explained

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