Govt mulls relaxing curfew in certain areas | Sunday Observer

Govt mulls relaxing curfew in certain areas

The Government is considering relaxing the curfew in districts where covid 19 has had no effect, after the April festive season. The possibility of relaxing the curfew in selected areas was discussed at a high profile meeting of government officials and law enforcement officers headed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday following expert advice that those areas had no major threat of spreading the virus.

It was highlighted at the meeting that tracking of covid 19 patients and their close associates have been successful so far and the government is expected to continue partial curfew and lockdown in certain areas for a further period of time. The officials  said they will continue to check on the infected and their associates from time to time since it was the method followed by countries that were successful in overcoming the effects of the global pandemic.

The meeting, held at the Presidential Secretariat was attended by the Defence Secretary Rtd Major General Kamal Gunaratna, Army Commander  Lieutenant General Shavendra  Silva, Acting IGP C.D.Wickramaratne, GMOA representatives, ICTA Chairman Jayantha de Silva, former Governor Dr.Seetha Arambepola and President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga.

GMOA President Dr.Padeniya briefed the steps taken by the Government so far to arrest the spread of the deadly virus within the country and the measures required to be continued for a further period to ensure that covid 19 will be contained successfully.

Dr.Padeniya updated the declining global situation re the pandemic at the meeting called to review the progress of the ongoing local efforts.

The President had assured that any action to suppress the pandemic will be taken after consulting the experts in the field of health, medicine, security and legal, and also based on lessons learnt from countries which have been successful in controlling the deadly virus. The Government had also strictly adhered to the international guidelines issued by the WHO.

It was also revealed that Sri Lanka had been able to keep it under control due to the quick action by the government from the very outset, whereas many other developing countries had devastating effects. However, it was cautioned that the threat  posed by this global pandemic on the country is not over yet.

DIG Ajith Rohana last evening, denied a rumour spread on social media that the Government was planning an islandwide lockdown from April 10 to 17, as fake news and said the CID was investigating into the matter.

As at 6 pm yesterday, 162 COVID-19 confirmed cases were reported since January 27, 132 patients are still in hospital and  25 patients had left hospitals after complete recovery.  Sri Lanka recorded five COVID-19 related deaths by last evening while 273 people are under observation.

No decision to declare a complete lockdown – Defence Secretary

Defence Secretary Maj.Gen.(Retd) Kamal Gunaratne said considering the present situation related to COVID-19 in the country, the government had not taken any decision to announce a complete lockdown during the next week.

Commenting on some rumours going viral claiming that there would be a complete five-day lockdown in the country, he said those rumours were spreading to create a fear psychosis among the public but no such decision had been taken by the Government so far.

“Curfew has been imposed to control the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 virus. Once the health and security forces with the support of the public have been able to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, we will be able to remove curfew gradually,” he said.

Maj.Gen. Gunaratne said the public should not be misled by such rumours and Police would deal with rumormongers, who were creating unnecessary panic among the people.