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Minister Rajitha rejects H1N1 travel alert issued by Qatar

(UDHAYAM, COLOMBO) – Minister of Health Rajitha Senaratne has denied reports that Qatar has imposed a travel ban for those who wish to visit Sri Lanka due to the spread of the H1N1 virus.

The Minister speaking at the weekly Cabinet media briefing this afternoon said the H1N1 virus was another form of influenza.

Minister Senaratne said H1N1 was a form of fever, cough and cold, the symptoms of a normal virus.

He said children, expectant women and kidney patients must be extra cautious.

The Minister added the public assume they’ve contracted dengue or H1N1 when they catch a fever claiming it is sometime common that the spread of viruses increase during April due to the change in climate.

Media reports circulated earlier that Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged Qatari nationals to refrain from travelling to Sri Lanka citing health reasons.

The Ministry said according to an official source at the Department of Consular Affairs, Sri Lankan officials have confirmed the spread of H1N1 in the Island, and reported a number of individuals contracting the disease.

The source urged Qatari nationals not to travel to Sri Lanka except in cases of extreme necessity until health conditions improve.

Courtesy: News Radio

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