Pilgrimages to India temporarily suspended

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

The Buddhist Affairs Ministry has been notified to temporarily stop all pilgrimages to India, the Health Services Director General said.The Health Services Director General Dr. Anil Jasinghe said this during a media briefing held at the Health Ministry yesterday (09).

 

“We took a decision to stop all pilgrimages to India temporarily and we have conveyed this decision to the Secretary of the Buddhist Affairs Ministry.This decision was taken due to several cases of the Coronavirus being reported from India. Those participating in these pilgrimages are generally the elderly between the ages of around 60-70 and as the coronavirus could spread among the elderly much faster due to their weak immune systems. The majority of (80%) Coronavirus related deaths are among the elderly,” Dr. Jasinghe noted.He also said that as has been practiced all other passengers arriving in the country would be screened and sent for quarantine for 14 days. Currently around 3900 health workers and health inspectors have been deployed for follow-up inspections.

He also urged all persons arriving in the country from foreign countries to remain indoors for at least 14 days without participating in any functions or tours. He also urged people to avoid foreign travel as much as possible.