On 31 December 2019, the WHO Country Office for China was informed about cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan, China. Authorities identified a new type of coronavirus, subsequently named COVID-19. On 30 January 2020, WHO Director-General declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), and on 11 March 2020, COVID-19 was characterized as a pandemic.

The Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medical Services in collaboration with the WHO Country Office for Sri Lanka continue to closely monitor the situation and to strengthen preparedness and response efforts. We are closely working with key partners to effectively and efficiently combat COVID-19. More than six months into this pandemic, Sri Lanka has made great progress in controlling the spread of COVID-19; however, the threat is not over yet. We must build on the progress made to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities safe, healthy, and thriving.

Rumors and misinformation can facilitate transmission and cost lives. We encourage everyone to seek high-quality, valid, sources of information that empower us to stay healthy. Solidarity is one of our most formidable weapons. We all have a part to play; it is not a choice between lives and livelihoods.

To prevent COVID-19, follow these 9 steps:

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze with the bend of your elbow or tissue (if you use a tissue,dispose of it immediately in a closed bin and wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer)
  • Avoid crowded places
  • Practice physical distancing, try to maintain at least 1m distance from others
  • Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces
  • Stay at home if you don’t feel well (fever and respiratory symptoms)
  • If you have symptoms (fever, cough, and difficulty breathing) seek medical care, first by phone Keep up-to-date on the latest information from verified sources like MoH and WHO

Learn more about covid-19 @ Heath Promotion Bureau

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