ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is extending a curfew in the Colombo, Gamapaha and Puttalam districts Tuesday but rest of the areas will get break on Monday from 6.00 am till 2.00 the president’s office said as the Coronavirus count went up to 77 on Saturday.
Curfew on other areas will be re-imposed at 2.00 pm and will go on till Tuesday 0600 am.
A decision on what will happen after Tuesday would be announced later.
Wine stores have been ordered to be closed when the curfew is temporarily lifted. Police have warned stay indoors and not party with neigbhours.
Farmers would also be given permission to cultivate and harvest food.
Earlier today the Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has asked officials to ensure that food and other essential commodities are released to the market without any shortage.
However Sri Lanka’s Consumer Affairs Authority slapped price controls on tinned fish generating a shortage of tinned fish as rich people grabbed them.
Commissioner of Co-operative Development and Registrar of Co-operative Societies Suvinda Singappuli has instructed the co-op stores to open when curfew is lifted over to provide essential commodities.
State-run Litro Gas is also making arrangements to distribute more gas, the Prime Minister’s office said.
On Saturday 05 new patients had been found, the state information office said.
Meanwhile Sri Lanka’s Derana Television, quoting an Anuradhapura hospital official said one person had died and three were injured following a riot at Anuradhapura after a suspected Coronavirus patient was taken off the prison earlier in the day.
The TV station showed visuals of a fire.
Sri Lanka has made an open appeal to any returnee who had entered the country through unofficial channels to come forward, promising that no legal action will be taken against them, as the country goes through its first full day of a lockdown-style curfew.
“We are not interested in whether they went out of the country or came back illegally,” Army Chief Shavendra Silva said in an interview with Sri Lanka’s NewsFirst television.
“Please come forward and register. No action will be taken. This is not a time for us to worry about immigration laws,” he said.
Streets in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo were deserted in the first day of a country-wide curfew to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Police said the curfew was holding and less than a dozen persons had been arrested in Haputale, Badulla and a few other areas.
Sri Lanka slapped the lockdown-style curfew yesterday, as total cases topped 70 (72 by this afternoon) and a patient was admitted to a hospital on a heart complaint exposing other patients and contacts.
General Silva said 11,482 persons who were returnees or had contact with suspected persons were now under home quarantine, being visited by quarantine officials.
More than 2,700 were quarantined in 17 centres run by the military. Sri Lanka has also issued home quarantine guidelines. (Colombo/Mar21/2020 – Update II)