Director General of Health Services, Dr. Jaysundara Bandara says that the Health Ministry has taken steps to treat and follow-up swine flu-affected people who arrive in the country from the Maldive Islands and that the public should not worry about the outbreak of the disease. “This is not something new to the country. There have been reported cases especially in the Killinotchchi and Jaffna areas. There won’t be any new threats by foreigners coming here for medical treatment,” Dr. Bandara said. The Epidemiology Unit and the health desks at airports and ports are being kept alert as well. Meanwhile, SriLankan Airlines issuing a travel advisory stated that it has activated Communicable Disease Procedures on its flights that operate in and out of Male. The travel advisory came following reports of an outbreak of Swine Flu in the Maldives Islands. The country’s Health Protection Agency (HPA) issued an advice to the public requesting them to restrict movements. “The crew will be wearing face masks and will provide a face mask to any passenger who requests one to wear during a flight. These proactive measures have been taken in the best interest of all our passengers and crew,” the statement read.
Dr. Bandara, however, emphasized pregnant mothers, elderly and anyone who has undergone kidney related operation or treatment should be extra cautious as they are most vulnerable.
Swine Flu which is also known as H1N1 first emerged in 2009. The virus is now considered a human seasonal flu virus and can be prevented with a vaccine.