Sri Lanka has launched tourism promotion initiatives with Russia and Ukraine aimed at reviving the sector which has been severely hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, a Minister said.

Addressing reporters on Monday, Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said that Russia and Ukraine were among the top 10 countries with the highest number of tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka in recent years, reports Xinhua news agency.

According to the Tourism Ministry, 24,320 tourists arrived in the country recently and of those, 250 tested positive for Covid-19. Of the 250 persons, 150 have returned to their home countries after recovery, and 100 are currently receiving treatment in the island nation, the Ministry added.

Authorities have said that direct flights between Sri Lanka and Russia will commence from November 4.