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Curfew passes extended till May end indicates no relaxation as planned next week

DIG Ajith Rohana

ECONOMYNEXT – The government has extended the validity of curfew passes issued for the month of April until the end of May in an indication that the restrictions on movements will not be relaxed as earlier planned for next week.
Police spokesman Deputy Inspector General of Police Ajith Rohana said that there will be no requirement for the institutions and individuals who have got curfew passes to carry out essential services including manufacturing to renew the passes.
The government had earlier announced that the curfews will be relaxed and all government and private sector offices should open from May 4 even in the so-called high-risk districts of Colombo, Gampaha and Puttalam.
It had given guidelines for people to use public transport and designated National Identity cardholders who could leave their homes to shop for essentials.
However, a huge surge in the number of COVID 19 patients over the past few days when the numbers doubled to reach 622 patients today, April 29 has prompted officials to review earlier laid plans to gradually opening up the economy.
The Director-General of Health Services Dr Anil Jasinghe says there 478 patients diagnosed with COVID 19 receiving treatment in hospitals. “Many of them are asymptomatic,” he said.
He also announced that the Homagama hospital has been converted into a COVID 19 treatment centre. It was earlier a hospital that took in suspected cases for observation.
Army Commander Lt Gen Shavendra Silva said that another flight carrying 144 Sri Lankans from New Delhi in India will be arriving in Sri Lanka tonight and all on board will be quarantined at the Punani Centre run by the Army.
He said that 69 people designated as at-risk for COVID 19 from the Dabare Mawatha area in Colombo have been sent for quarantine to the Damminna Quarantine centre.
DIG Rohana also said that the large number of curfew violators who have been arrested are allegedly engaged in selling or using narcotics or selling illegal alcohol.
He called on the “law-abiding people in these neighbourhoods who want to cooperate with the authorities to inform the police of these illegal activities.” (Colombo April 29, 2020)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana