In other 19 districts curfew will be lifted on April 6
By Sandun A. Jayasekera
The curfew currently in force in the districts of Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutura, Puttalam, Kandy and Jaffna which have been identified as High Risk Zones in the wake of COVID – 19 will be effective until further notice, the Presidential Secretariat said yesterday.
In all other districts, curfew was lifted at 6.00 am yesterday (April 1) and re-imposed at 2.00 pm the same day. The curfew was re-imposed in the 19 Districts will be in force until 6.00 am on Monday (April 6) and will be re-imposed after 8 hours at 2.00 pm on the same day.
Travelling to and from all districts has been strictly prohibited except for the purpose of providing essential services. Those who misuse regulations introduced with the prime objective of ensuring the smooth and efficient functioning of essential services will be severely dealt with according to the law.
The government has put in place a mechanism to continuously supply essential food and other goods enabling the public to purchase them while remaining in their homes. Those who are engaged in paddy farming and cultivation of small tea holdings and export crops in any district are permitted to carry out their activities.
Since the sole purpose of these measures is to ensure the well-being of the people of this country in this critical situation, the Government requests the public to strictly adhere to the guidelines in a responsible manner. The villages which have been declared isolated areas in the districts of Kandy and Kalutara will remain in the same category and no one will be allowed to enter or leave from these areas until further notice.
Meanwhile, Army Chief Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva, who spearheads the war against COVID-19 said only those who are engaged in essential services including food distribution and to purchase essential medicine will be permitted to travel. 16 road blocks have been established in Colombo alone to restrict unnecessary travel.
“The COVID-19 is an extremely destructive and strong virus that spreads fast. It does not come to you if you take precautionary measures as advised by the health authorities. Only if you, one of your family members or any visitor to your residence did not bring the virus from outside, there is no possibility for infection to you or to your family member.
That is why we say that to stop all errands and not to entertain visitors to your residence until we successfully tackle this challenge. As long as you adhere to these instructions, you are safe from COVID-19 infection,” Gen. Silva stressed.
Expressing his disappointment over the unpatriotic and extremely irresponsible behaviour of certain individuals, Gen. Silva said on Saturday night that the Army Intelligence officers were able to track down two individuals infected with COVID-19 from Puttalam and Pannila in the Kalutara District who had evaded quarantine and associated with many in the society freely.
“We don’t know the exact number of people who had become infected by these men. Most of the COVID-19 carriers who came to the country after January 10 from India, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
When we detected them, we had no option but to bring the entire community to quarantine.”
The Army Chief said the families in Kadumayana kulsm in the Puttalam and Atulugama in Kalutara had been declared out of bound for visitors who can neither enter nor exit.
Until last morning, a total of 1,093 individuals had been arrested with 310 vehicles have been detained for violating curfew in the past 24 hours. The total number of individuals arrested after the curfew was first imposed was 8451 and the number of vehicles detained was 2,078, Gen. Silva said.
- Travelling to and from all districts has been strictly prohibited except for the purpose of providing essential services
- The villages which have been declared isolated areas in the districts of Kandy and Kalutara will remain in the same category and no one will be allowed to enter or leave