Sri Lanka imposes inter-provincial travel restrictions with immediate effect
A man wearing a facemask as a preventative measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus transports wooden furniture on his bicycle along a street on the outskirts of Colombo on November 13, 2020. (Photo by Lakruwan WANNIARACHCHI / AFP) (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP via Getty Images)
By Pooja Shrivastava
Inter-provincial travel restriction has been imposed in Sri Lanka with immediate effect. The announcement was made by Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Monday (10) after meeting with health sector stakeholders.
The restrictions will remain effective until May 30. Apart from travel restrictions, the president instructed to cancel all gatherings and limit the number of people entering and staying in commercial establishments. He also instructed to isolate the areas where infected people are found in higher numbers.
President emphasized that proper procedures will be followed to ensure that the lives of the people are not disrupted and that the essential services are maintained while imposing these restrictions.
The country has been witnessing a dramatic surge in covid cases in recent weeks. On Sunday, the country reported 2,672 new cases of coronavirus, the highest single-day count recorded in the country so far. The overall caseload of COVID infections in the country stands at 127,487.
Earlier this week, the country announced that all arrivals from India will be banned with immediate effect. The Civil Aviation Authority said on Thursday (6) that travelers from India will not be allowed to disembark in Sri Lanka.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka’s vaccination drive seems to be on track. The country has received a total of 1,265,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine apart from a donation of 600,000 doses of Chinese Sinopharm vaccine that was recently approved by WHO for emergency use.
The government has decided to use Russia’s Sputnik vaccine as well in the vaccination drive. Under the first phase of this, Sri Lanka received 15,000 doses of vaccines and 85,000 more will be received soon.
Under the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, around 925,000 people were given the first jab of the vaccine. However, the recent developments in India obstructed getting down vaccines required for the second dose.