ECONOMYNEXT – Growing concern over rising daily cases and the newly detected Omicron variant notwithstanding, Sri Lanka will have a COVID-19 lockdown free Christmas this year as a result of widespread vaccination, according to a cabinet spokesman.
Co-cabinet spokesman Ramesh Pathirana told reporters on Tuesday (30) that this a majority of the country, including children, have been fully vaccinated with a booster rollout already under way.
“The government has no intention to go for another lockdown. No official discussion has taken place on locking down the country in the coming [festive] season,” he said.
“We have relaxed restrictions after vaccinating a majority of the population. But that does not mean we relaxed the restrictions after completely containing the spread of the virus. So, until everyone is safe, no one is safe,” he added.
The minister cautioned that there is a risk present with the looming threat of the Omicron variant.
“It is clear that the threat is still there. Therefore, we ask the public to act responsibly. Or else the country will again have to struggle to contain it,” Pathirana said.
“The health as well as the economy and social security of the country are in the hands of the general public.”
Authorities in Sri Lanka have been criticised over the second and third wave of the COVID-19 epidemic for “shifting the blame” to the public when the spread got out of control.
Sri Lanka has vaccinated 85 percent of the eligible population (above 16 years of age) and has rolled out the booster dose for people above 60 and frontline workers who have completed their three months vaccination course. (Colombo/Nov30/2021)