International

Sri Lanka lifts nationwide lockdown

Health workers in Colombo earlier in June.

Health workers in Colombo earlier in June.   | Photo Credit: Eranga Jayawardena

No community transmission: official

Sri Lanka’s nationwide lockdown was lifted on Sunday after a selective curfew a month ago was reimposed during a surge in COVID-19 infections, the country’s President said.

The island nation imposed the lockdown on March 20 and lifted it gradually over the past two months, although a night-time curfew remained in place.

It reintroduced tighter restrictions in late May and early June to curb large gatherings for the funeral of a popular government minister and for a religious festival.

“The curfew has completely been lifted effective from today,” President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s office said in a statement. Health officials said new infections reported since April 30 were from Sri Lankans stranded in West Asia who were brought home on special flights and quarantined.

A cluster in a Navy camp was controlled with the facility still in lockdown, they said. “There has been no community spread of the virus and the infections at the Welisara Navy camp are now contained,” a health official said.

Authorities plan to reopen Sri Lanka’s borders on August 1, but the date could be reviewed due to the imported cases, the official added. Sri Lanka will also hold its parliamentary elections at the start of August. Around 2,000 infections including 11 deaths have been recorded so far, according to government figures.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 12:49:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/sri-lanka-lifts-nationwide-lockdown/article31940319.ece

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