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Gazetted COVID-19 regulations will be announced soon: Sri Lanka police

ECONOMYNEXT – Gazetted hygiene and physical distancing guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health to contain the spread of COVID-19 will be announced in the next few days, Sri Lanka Police spokesman Deputy Inspector General Ajith Rohana said.

“These laws have been created to meet WHO standards,” Rohan told reporters today.

“In this gazette there will be clear guidelines on how to conduct oneself in a public place as per health guidelines,” he added.

Rohna said this gazette will come under quarantine laws.

“Therefore, refusing to follow these guidelines is punishable under the quarantine law of the country.”

The gazette notification will enable the courts to impose “severe punishments” on those who violate Sri Lanka’s quarantine regulations, health minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi told reporters on Sunday (11).

The punishments will include arrests without warrant and a six-month prison term, she said.

According to Wanniarachchi, the gazette will make wearing face-masks in public spaces mandatory by law. Maintaining a minimum physical distance of one metre in crowded places will also be made compulsory, and establishments will be required

by law to check the temperature of those who enter their premises.

“Those who violate these health provisions in areas declared as virus-infected areas can be penalized with a maximum fine of Rs 10,000 or six-month imprisonment or both,” Minister said.

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DIG Rohan said today that all government and private companies have been advised to update their employee records with the current addresses, permanent address, NIC number, email address, emergency contacts and telephone number of each employee so they can be tracked down quickly if necessary.

“One of the main problems we faced when tracing the employees of the Brandix cluster was not having updated information,” Rohana said.

Eighteen police jurisdictions in Gampaha district are still under curfew, and according to Rohana, traveling to and from the areas will be limited.

DIG Rohan said no shops, supermarkets or pharmacies will be permitted to open in those areas.

“We will inform the residents in these areas whether we can open the shops and pharmacies next Friday after analysing the number of patients and the travelling conditions over the next two days,” he said

“They will remain closed for the next two days,” he added.

Meanwhile, Army Commander Lt Gen Shavendra Silva said all employees of the Minuwangoda brandix plant have been traced.

“All the COVID-19 positive people in the Minuwangoda cluster have been admitted to hospital while their contacts are in quarantine,” Siva said told reporters.

“85 percent of the families of those employees have also been directed to quarantine centres by now.”

Silva said other patients who have identified in different areas have also been directed to hospitals and quarantine centres.

“We have already admitted them to the hospital. Their families are also being directed to quarantine.”

“Army intelligence has traced all irst contacts of these patients and employees. We have them under self quarantine until we take them to  quarantine centres,” he added.

Sri Lanka identified 49 new patients today bringing the total number of COVID-19 patients in the country to 4,893. (Colombo/ October 13/2020)

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