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* Public requested to refrain from gatherings and movements during declared holidays
Thu, Mar 19, 2020, 11:57 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

  • Night Clubs and Betting centers to be closed
  • All pilgrimages, leisure trips within Sri Lanka banned
  • Mar 19, Colombo: The Government has urged the public to refrain from joining leisure tours and pilgrimages during the holidays declared by the State to prevent the rapidly spreading coronavirus.

    With newly reported nine patients, the total confirmed COVID-19 cases have risen to 50 yesterday, Ministry of Defense said.

    At a press briefing held at the National Operation Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19- Outbreak (NOCPCO), the Army Commander and the Head of the center Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva said the Government had taken all measures to control the spread of the COVID-19.

    He said the group of Sri Lankan pilgrims, who were now in India would be facilitated to return to the country and they would be directed to quarantine centers.

    “We request all foreigners in Sri Lanka to curtail their movements within the country to avoid spreading the COVID -19. Hoteliers, restaurateurs, and owners of establishments where foreigners would be residing are to advise the foreigners to limit their travels,” the Army Commander said.

    Lt. Gen. Silva said out of the 2,287 suspected persons that were undergoing 14-day quarantine, 21 individuals were foreigners and 19 individuals at quarantine centers had been tested positive.

    He said a majority of persons who were tested positive for the disease had already been infected before arriving in Sri Lanka.

    “The government requests individuals who had arrived in the island from foreign countries to register at the nearest police to put them under house quarantine process,” Lt. Gen. Silva said adding that over 4,000 persons have been registered with the Police, so far.

    Director General Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe, explaining the precautions taken by the Health Ministry said the Government had decided to permit private hospitals to conduct the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test under strict conditions.

    “It is mandatory that permitted private hospitals make the tests results available within 24-hours to their customers. The test should be available at Rs, 6,000, which is the price declared by the Government for a test conducted at private hospitals,” he said.

    Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said the Government had no plans to have a lock down as it would create unnecessary hardships to ordinary people.

    “In addition to having medical expertise and facilities ready to treat people infected by coronavirus, the 12 hospitals in several districts are kept on standby,” she said.

    Meanwhile, the government has decided to close night clubs and betting centers and ban all pilgrimages and leisure trips within the country.


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