They can restart work in the unaffected districts first subject to health precautions
By Kelum Bandara
As part of the move to open up the country in measured steps, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa instructed the small and medium entrepreneurs yesterday to resume business operations in the unaffected districts after April 20, 2020.
Cabinet Spokesman Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardane told Daily Mirror yesterday that the representatives of such industries met with the Prime Minister.
The minister who also attended the meeting told the Daily Mirror that the industrialists were asked to restart their production in consultation with the health authorities and the district secretaries.
“They can restart work in the unaffected districts first subject to health precautions,” he said.
He said it would take time for the industries located in the high risk districts such as Colombo and Gampaha to resume work.
Curfew to be relaxed in particular districts soon
- Arrangements made to carry out clearance of postal goods jointly with the Customs
By Sandun A Jayasekera
While the government contemplates relaxing curfew for at least a few hours in the days to come, the heads of some vital public establishments expressed their plan to open their services to the public.
Internal operations of the Central Mail Exchange that were temporarily halted for nearly a month due to the local outbreak of Covid-19 will be re-started from Monday (20).
Postmaster General Ranjith Ariyaratne said sorting of mail and parcels will be started on Monday with a view to deliver them immediately the curfew was lifted. He added hundreds of thousands of local and foreign letters and parcels had accumulated at the Central Mail Exchange.
Arrangements have been made to carry out clearance of postal goods jointly with the Sri Lanka Customs, using proper healthcare measures, Mr. Ariyaratne said, adding post offices would not be reopened until the curfew was lifted fully.
Chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) General (retired) Daya Ratnayaka said clearance of goods including vehicles and containers would recommence from today and added 26,000 containers remained at the port right now.
“The full capacity of the container yard at the SLPA is about 30,000 containers and the daily clearance is around 4,000. Therefore, we would reach a peak in a couple of days.
It will be a big relief if importers get their containers and vehicles cleared as early as possible,” General Ratnayaka said.
One can obtain details of any registered vehicle through e-service service. A fee small fee will be charged for the full information service, but limited information can be obtained free of charge.
Full information of a vehicle can be obtained from Department of Motor Traffic by making an online payment of Rs.150.00. Limited information of a vehicle can be obtained from Department of Motor Traffic as a free service.
Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe meanwhile said a majority of districts in the country were not been affected by the Covid–19 pandemic and therefore, the Ministry of Health was exploring the possibility of recommencing businesses and industries in these districts.
A special team of experts had been deployed by the Ministry for this purpose.
The curfew will be relaxed only after a thorough review of the health situation in the country.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa chaired a meeting at the Presidential Secretariate on Wednesday to explore the possibility of an immediate resumption of day-to-day economic activities at provincial levels in order to safeguard the national economy, the President’s Media Division said.
Several representatives of the health sector including all the Provincial Directors of Health briefed the President on current situation in the country.
The President instructed the Provincial Directors of Health to make necessary recommendations required to maintain normal activities in the industrial, agricultural and business sectors through the Director General of Health.