Long-weekend curfew in Western Province; COVID-19 spreading faster than before: Sri Lanka army chief

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ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will impose quarantine curfew in the entire Western Province from midnight tomorrow (October 29) until 5 am Monday (November 02) in an effort to contain COVID-19 that’s spreading “faster than before”, Army Commander Lt Gen Shavendra Silva said.

“In the meantime, the ongoing curfew in the Gampaha district and in 21 police areas in Colombo and the five police areas in Kalutara will continue,” Silva told reporters a short while ago.

Friday (30) is a Poya day (a public, bank and mercantile holiday) in Sri Lanka, and the curfew will cover the duration of the coming long-weekend in the Western Province.

The army chief said before imposing curfew, citizens in areas that are already under curfew will be given a grace period from 0800 hours to 2200 hours tomorrow to acquire supply and medications.

“We announced yesterday that people in curfew areas in Colombo, Kurunegala and Gampaha will be given two days to get their supplies and medicines,” he said.

“However, since we’re imposing curfew in the entire Western Province from tomorrow midnight, curfew will be lifted from 8am to 10pm tomorrow in those areas to get supplies. We advise all citizens to get their supplies from the nearest stores within walking distance,” he added.

Silva further said areas that are already under curfew will continue to be under curfew after November 02 until further notice.

“We must state that the virus is spreading much faster than earlier,” he said.

“This is why health authorities are advising the public to minimise travel and to follow all health guidelines. We urge all the citizens of Sri Lanka to follow all protocols because the virus is spreading at a faster pace,” he added.

All the first contacts of COVID-19 positive patients have been directed to self-quarantine at their homes, said the army commander, adding that the government has decided to provide them with supplies for the duration of their 14-day self-quarantine.

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“We have already started the process, and supplies will be delivered to those households by the relevant police officers, PHIs or MOH officers,” Silva said.

He added that all essential services and essential service employees will have the permission to travel during the curfew period. (Colombo/Oct28/2020)

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