Sri Lanka country-wide curfew stopped with greatest difficulty: Basil

ECONOMYNEXT – A request for a national curfew by health authorities was avoided with the greatest difficulty Basil Rajapaksa, brother of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who heads an economic task force has said.

“The majority opinion (wedi mathaya) was to impose a nation-wide curfew and fully lockdown (sampurnayen lockdown karanna),” Rajapaksa said in comments broadcast over local television.

“It is with greatest difficulty that is was limited to the Western Province. Health authorities are in the firm opinion (dedi lesser innay) is to stop everything for at least 10 days.”

He said Gampaha district had been under lockdown for more than a month and people were suffering.

Gampaha was locked down is stages after the Minuwangoda cluster was discovered.

Rajapaksa said private dealing in perishables not re-start operations immediately unlike a government department as some businesses dealing in perishables lost their working capital.

“If a vegetable truck was thrown away, how do you find the money to buy the next load of vegetables,” he asked.

“If a workplace is closed it is not easy to start it. It is the same for string hopper (kadayappan) maker who throws away the days stock. Today in Colombo kadayppam sellers are not found. So how do they live?

“That is why we are trying to stop this from going to the other provinces. If we close them also it is difficult to re-build those lives.”

Health inspectors have warned that conditions close to community transmission existed in the Western province with clusters starting to cross-infect each other.

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Officials have commented on Minuwangoda and Peliyagoda cluster was cross-infections earlier.

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A short term curfew can also help public heath inspectors get a breathing space to isolate contacts and stop the spread.

Sri Lanka has also dropped institutionalized quarantine last week, as hospital admissions rose, and relaxed discharge criteria dropping a PCR test before release.

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