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The health authorities have urged the people to pay close attention to hygienic practices and COVID-19 health guidelines during the upcoming New Year festive season.

People should avoid non-essential travel during the festive season, to prevent the further spread of the virus, Dr. Anwar Hamdani, the Director of Medical Technology Services and Chief Coordinator of COVID-19 at the Ministry of Health emphasized.

“Around 1200 COVID-19 patients are detected daily in the country, while around 250 to 300 patients are discharged from hospitals following complete recovery. The daily death toll stands at around 25 to 30,” he noted.

Whilst pointing out that the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus has high transmissibility, Dr. Anwar Hamdani reminded the people to obtain full vaccination status and follow good health practices.

Meanwhile, a new system will be implemented at the airports for tourists visiting Sri Lanka, with effect from the 1st of March, Dr. G. Wijesuriya, the Deputy Director-General of Health Services noted.

According to Dr. Wijesuriya, as per the new system, foreign travellers who are fully vaccinated will be exempted from COVID-19 PCR test reports when entering the country.

The fully vaccinated status in this regard refers to as having received at least the 1st two doses of the COVID-19 vaccines, one week prior to arrival in the country, he said.

This system does not apply to those who are travelling from Sri Lanka to foreign countries, Dr. Wijesuriya further noted.