Sri Lanka to lift COVID-19 curfew in several areas after 10 days

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COLOMBO, Nov 8, 2020 (BSS/XINHUA) – A curfew imposed in Sri Lanka’s Western Province including in capital Colombo will be lifted on Monday morning, an official said on Sunday.

Sri Lanka’s Army Chief and Head of National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva made the announcement after a 10-day curfew imposed in the area.

Silva said areas within the province that had been identified as high risk zones would be declared isolated and residents living there would not be able to leave home until further notice.

Authorities had decided to lift the curfew in order to restart economic activities, but health officials warned all citizens across the nation to strictly follow the health guidelines in order to prevent a further spread.

The police warned that those leaving home without face mask or do not maintain social distancing will be arrested and fined.

Sri Lanka has recorded a sudden surge in COVID-19 infections since last month after two new clusters were identified in Minuwangoda, in the outskirts of Colombo and from a fish market in Peheliyagoda, which spread to several other parts of the country.

According to health ministry statistics, 13,419 patients have been identified across the country since the first local patient was detected in March while 34 deaths have been reported.

Over 590,000 PCR tests have been conducted in the country to date.

Schools across the country remain closed since last month.