COVID-19 restrictions to continue in Sri Lanka until Tamil New Year

COLOMBO: The stringent measures taken by Sri Lanka to stem the spread of novel coronavirus will continue until the Sinhala and Tamil New Year on April 14 and a team of experts headed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will monitor the COVID-19 crisis till it is brought under control, the President’s Media Division has said.
Sri Lanka has recorded five deaths from coronavirus and the total number of infections is 176. The island nation imposed a nationwide curfew on March 20 in an effort to contain the spread of the disease.
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Headed by President Rajapaksa, a discussion took place on Saturday at the Presidential Secretariat to review the progress of the COVID-19 prevention programme.
During the discussion it was noted that the Government’s timely actions from when this virus first entered the country had helped keep the situation under control, the Colombo-based newspaper Daily Financial Times said in a report on Monday.
“It was observed that except for the few districts identified as high risk zones where the most number of COVID-19 patients were found, the spread of the virus at present does not pose a threat to other districts. Therefore, there is a possibility that the current restrictions imposed on these districts could be lifted by the end of the Sinhala New Year season,” the President’s Media Division said in a statement.
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The current prevention programme will continue as it is until this period. A decision will be taken after further studying the situation, it said.
President Rajapaksa the COVID-19 prevention programme has been based on the professional advice from the health, medical, security and legal expertise and it would continue to rely on this expertise until the crisis is brought under control, the report said.
Travelling to and from all districts in Sri Lanka is completely prohibited except for the purpose of providing essential services.
The ban on foreign arrivals has been extended till April 7 to contain the spread of the virus.
According to Johns Hopkins University, there are more than 1.2 million coronavirus cases across the world and 69,479 people have died.

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