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08 Nov 2020 | 09:57 AM UTC

Sri Lanka: Authorities extend curfew in Western province until November 9 /update 26

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



Sri Lankan authorities have announced that the curfew in place in the Western province will be lifted on Monday morning, November 9, as the country tries to reopen the economy. The curfew had been introduced on Friday, October 30, due to a rise in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. The usage of facemasks in public remains mandatory. All public gatherings are banned; however, weddings and funerals may occur in non-curfew areas with up to 50 and 25 guests, respectively.

All passengers departing from the country will be required to present a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test for coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The test must be taken within the 72 hours preceding the departure flight. The ban on incoming international passenger flights also remains in place until further notice.

As of Sunday, November 8, there have been 13,702 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka and 34 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.


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.


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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