ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s ministry of health issued a new set of guidelines and restrictions Wednesday (18) afternoon to be imposed with immediate effect until August 31.
According to the new guidelines, only one person from each household can leave the house at a time and must leave only in case of an emergency or medical needs. However, people who have been called to work by their employers have permission to go to work as usual, the statement said.
Carnivals, musical shows and beach parties that fall under public gathering will be banned.
Shopping malls, gyms, indoor stadiums, swimming pools, spas and children parks will be closed from Wednesday (18) onward. Meanwhile, restaurants are allowed to stay open for dining in at 50 percent capacity under strict health guidelines.
It is not clear why and how restaurants are expected to operate at any capacity when there is a ban on people leaving the house except for emergencies.
From Sunday (15) onwards, the government imposed island wide curfew from 10pm till 4am every day until further notice to control the spread of COVID-19 which has overwhelmed the country’s healthcare system.
A group of experts convened by World Health Organisation (WHO) Sri Lanka have warned that if stricter measures are not imposed now, the country will see some 30,000 deaths by January 2022.
According to the group, daily deaths are expected to increase up to 220 a day by early October at current levels of mobility restrictions, while the daily caseload is set to increase up to 6,000 a day by mid-September.
With 174 deaths recorded on Tuesday (17), Sri Lanka’s total COVID-19 death toll increased to 6,434. (Colombo/Aug18/2021)