Govt mulls reopening country on October 1 | Sunday Observer
Final decision on September 30

Govt mulls reopening country on October 1

26 September, 2021

Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday said the authorities are exploring the possibility of reopening the country on October 1, subject to restrictions. The Minister said the final decision in this regard will be taken on September 30.

Responding to questions raised by journalists following an inspection tour of the Nawalapitiya District Hospital yesterday, the Health Minister said the present situation is being closely monitored, adding that the prevailing situation is somewhat favourable to reopen the country.

Commenting on the success of the Government’s Covid-19 vaccination drive, Minister Rambukwella said Sri Lanka, which was ranked among the first 10 countries for completing the vaccination of those over the age of 30 years is now ranked among 3 to 4 top nations that conducts its vaccination drive effectively.

He said that the vaccination of those aged between 20 to 29 is currently ongoing, while the vaccination of children in the age group of 12 to 19 years with congenital disorders also commenced on Friday (September 24).

According to Minister Rambukwella, there is a reduction in the rate of Covid-19 infected patients and the number of deaths. Therefore, he called upon the public to act in compliance with the Covid-19 health guidelines once the country opens to combat the pandemic.

While pointing out that the health authorities are doing their best, the Minister said that as citizens we must also act responsibly and assist the efforts to contain the virus. The Special Committee on Covid-19 Control has decided to devise a comprehensive plan on the health recommendations and restrictions that need to be imposed on reopening the country with the lifting of the curfew.

The plan will be prepared by three relevant authorities covering three areas. Under the guidance of the Health Ministry and the health specialists’ committees, the Ministry of Public Administration will issue recommendations on how to maintain services in the public sector, the Ministry of Transport will issue recommendations with regard to public transport and the Ministry of Labour will issue recommendations on how to maintain services in the private sector.

These decisions were taken at the online meeting of the Special Committee on Covid-19 Control chaired by Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa on Friday (September 24).

Minister Rajapaksa said the fullest support of the public health inspectors, local political authorities, rural development committees and the media should be sought when implementing the plan. He said that all sectors should work together to continue the country’s economic process under the ‘new normal’ concept in the face of the Covid-19 challenge.