Nurses wearing facemasks cross a road as they push a trolley filled with leaflets outside the entrance of Sri Lanka’s Infectious Diseases Hospital near Colombo on March 17, 2020. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP via Getty Images)
SRI Lanka declared a 3-day holiday on Tuesday (17) till March 19 to minimise public interactions in curbing spread of COVID-19.
“This is applicable to all public and private entities except essential services. Please support the effort by staying home & practice social distancing,” said president Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Govt has declared a 3-day holiday till 19/3 to minimize public interactions in curbing spread of #COVID2019. This is applicable to all public and private entities except essential services. Please support the effort by staying home & practice social distancing.
Although the state offices will remain closed, essential services such as food supplies and banks will continue to function, the government said.
“In order to minimise public gatherings, decision has been taken to curtail court proceedings except for emergency matters and the Prisons Dept has halted visiting prisoners by the public.All measures are being taken to minimise disruption to daily life while keeping citizens safe,” the president tweeted.
The doctors’ trade union has urged the president to order a complete lockdown of the country in order to facilitate the prevention operations.
The government also announced the appointment of Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, who is the chief of the Army, to head the National Operations Center for Prevention of COVID-19.
The Army is already in charge of the quarantine Centers where the suspected cases are kept under observation.