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01 Nov 2020 | 11:52 AM UTC

Sri Lanka: Authorities extend curfew in Western province until November 9 /update 25

Authorities extend curfew in Western province until November 9; follow authority directives

health
transportation
LKA

Event

Sri Lankan authorities have extended a curfew imposed in Western province for a further week until 05:00 (local time) on November 9. The curfew had been introduced on Friday, October 30, due to a rise in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the area, which includes Colombo, and was due to end on Monday, November 2. Under the curfew, all nonessential businesses are required to close while shops such as pharmacies and grocery shops are permitted to open twice a week between 08:00 - 22:00. Essential shops in Colombo and Kurunegala districts will be open on Tuesdays and Fridays, while those in Gampaha and Kalutara districts will open on Mondays and Thursdays. An indefinite curfew remains in place across several areas of Kegalle, Kurunegala, Nuwara Eliya, Puttalam, and Ratnapura. Residents are required to stay home except for emergency or essential purposes and entry into and out of these areas is prohibited until further notice.

As of Sunday, November 1, there have been 10,856 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka and 20 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

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