Sri Lanka on Friday prolonged the present lockdown till September 21, amid a persistent fourth wave of COVID-19 and extreme financial pressure.
The choice to increase the “quarantine curfew” was taken at a digital assembly on COVID-19 management chaired by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a media launch from the Presidential Media Division mentioned.
“#Lockdown will stay in effect till (21/09). With numbers steadily declining, we’re confident that #lka will once again be able to reopen without risk. Pl adhere to the regulations, use this time to #GetVaccinated, #StayHome & #WearAMask,” Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella mentioned in a tweet.
The extension of the lockdown within the island nation coincides with an unlimited problem dealing with the nationwide economic system with falling revenues, primarily because of the pandemic’s influence on the export sector, employee remittances and tourism, the plummeting rupee – to round 200 in opposition to a U.S. greenback – and a steep enhance in value of residing, resulting in a “food emergency”.
President Rajapaksa lately imposed a State of Emergency, to make sure important commodities can be found to residents, however authorities critics have slammed the laws that, they are saying, may very well be used to targets dissidents.
Also learn: What is Sri Lanka’s ‘food emergency’?
Sri Lanka’s chief response to the present wave has been to widen its vaccination internet. As of September 9, practically 46 % of the inhabitants had been administered each doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, whereas virtually 60 % have acquired no less than one dose.
Meanwhile, the Presidential Media Division mentioned consultants would consider the prospect of re-opening faculties and make suggestions quickly. Economic centres could be stored open in the course of the lockdown to assist farmers, its media launch mentioned. In addition to reeling below the pandemic’s influence, Sri Lanka’s farmers have been voicing concern over the federal government’s latest swap from chemical to natural fertilizer, a transfer extensively criticised as “ill-timed” and “dramatic”.