Police perform music to residents in lockdown | Sunday Observer

Police perform music to residents in lockdown

On Wednesday when a 73-year-old resident of Arnold Ratnayake Mawatha in Maradana succumbed to Covid 19 the very day he tested positive for the disease, authorities were forced to lock down the road, ordering nearly 2,000 people to self-isolate. The decision was taken following the revelation that the victim, living in a highly-populated area of Colombo had a large number of visitors in the days leading up to his death. It was also revealed that two relatives of the victim, including his young grandson, had contracted the virus which is now rapidly spreading across the world. For the close-knit community, this was a heavy blow in a matter of days.

On Friday the Sri Lanka Police stepped in to provide some respite to the neighbourhood which was still in shock and mourning. An open-bed truck and Police vehicles moved into the area on the day, not to crack down on an illegal activity as one would imagine but to perform music to the residents in lockdown in a bid to lift their spirits.

However, prior to the musical performance, the Sri Lanka Police on the advice of the Acting IGP C.D Wickramaratne conducted an awareness program for the residents of the Siyasetha Sevana housing complex and surrounding areas on Covid 19.

Addressing the people DIG Ajith Rohana said it had come to the notice of the Police that residents in housing complexes were gathering in groups despite being requested to isolate and adhere to quarantine procedures. “We must understand there is a propensity for the disease to spread in these areas,” he said adding that the Police had come to deliver that message to the people. “Please keep the distance of one meter from each other, wash your hands regularly and if you feel you are displaying any symptoms of Covid 19 please come forward to obtain health care,” he said.

DIG Ajith Rohana stressed that people should not fear or be ashamed to do so as it was not a disease that has been contracted through any fault of theirs “So please get in touch with the nearest Police station if you feel you are displaying symptoms and we will provide you with the necessary help,” he said. “Despite many other duties the police are dedicating their time for you as we feel our advice is not being followed in housing complexes in Colombo” he added. Medical advice was also given to the residents on Covid 19 by SSP Dr. Chamindra Ranasinghe of the Police Hospital, with instructions in all three languages.

Following the awareness program, the residents were treated to a musical performance by the Police Band with many residents appreciating the efforts of the officers. Some waved Sri Lankan flags from their balconies while others joined in by flashing and waving their mobiles to the music. The videos of the program have since gone viral on social media with the public commending the dedication of the Sri Lanka Police in combatting Covid 19 and preventing its spread in the country.

According to DIG Ajith Rohana, the intention was to deliver the message to the people directly. “Even during curfew people in housing complexes were gathering,” he said pointing out that when the Police arrived in the area people were seen gathered in groups. “We had to first disperse them before the program can commence,” he said. According to the DIG conducting the program was important due to the failure of its residents to adhere to curfew regulations and the possibility of Covid 19 spreading in housing complexes such as Siyasetha Sevana.