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Sri Lanka to fly back 113 students from Pakistan as Coronavirus curfews relaxed

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will fly back 113 students stranded in Pakistan on April 21 in the first stage of an attempt to bring back citizens from Coronavirus struck countries as the Indian Ocean island announced a relaxation of tight curfews slapped to contain Covid-19.

At least 215 Sri Lankan students are stuck in India and Pakistan due lockdowns in the region.

“The initial phase of Sri Lankan students to be brought down will start from Tuesday (April 21st),” Sri Lanka Airport and Aviation Director Operations Shehan Sumanasekera told EconomyNext.

Sri Lankan Airlines flight UL 1206 will fly the 113 students from Pakistan.

SriLankan had suspended scheduled flights as airports closed around the world and many countries barred entry to foreigners.

Sri Lanka also barred all entry and asked citizens to stay until epidemiological detectives from intelligence and health services tracked contacts of foreign returnees and any locals.

Sri Lanka has been aggressively contact tracing infected persons almost all have been index cases with identified links to foreign returnees, though perhaps two clusters have index cases which are problematic including some who have been confirmed in the last two days.

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On Sunday the government said curfews will be relaxed in most areas except some police areas in Colombo, Kandy, Gampaha, Puttalam, Kaluthara and Amparai.

Agencies will go back to work in stages.

On Sunday the government said curfews will be lifted in the daytime from 0500hours till 2000hours in most areas except some police areas in Colombo, Kandy, Gampaha, Puttalam, Kaluthara and Amparai from Wednesday April 23.

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The following police areas would continue to have daytime curfews.

Colombo district Kotahena, Grandpass, Bambalapitiya, Keselwatta,
Maradana, Gothatuwa, Mulleriyawa, Wellampitiya
Mount Lavinia, Dehiwala and Kohuwala

Gampaha district JaEla, Kochchikade and Seeduwa

Kalutara district Bandaragama, Payagala, Beruwala and Aluthgama

Puttalam district Puttalam, Marawila and Wennappuwa

Amparai Akkaraipattu

Sri Lanka’s Health Chief Anil Jasinghe said the spread of Coronavirus has been controlled but the risk of spread is not fully gone away.