Restriction of movements need of the hour – COVID-19 Task Force | Daily News


Work from home for social distancing:

Restriction of movements need of the hour – COVID-19 Task Force

Police curfew in Jaela, Wattala:

Members of the Special Task Force on COVID-19 yesterday urged the public to practice social distancing practices to the maximum possible extent in order to halt the spread the virus, as the number of worldwide cases exceeded 200,000 and local cases climbed to 59. Another 2,288 individuals were recuperating in quarantine at 16 quarantine centres across the country.

Speaking at a media briefing organized at the National Operation Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19, Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe said that seven more confirmed cases were reported yesterday including the wife and child of the Gem merchant’s business partner who was evading health officials upon his return from Germany.

“Many of these individuals are being treated at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Angoda. However since yesterday with the help of the Army, the Colombo East Base Hospital (Mulleriyawa) will be ready to accept any new cases,” he said.

Explaining the rationale over the imposition of a Police curfew in Puttalam and Negombo, Dr. Jasinghe said that a majority of returnees were said to be residing in those areas and a police curfew was needed to restrict their movements, in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.

Chief of Defence Staff and Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva who has been tasked with heading the national centre requested individuals who had recently returned from overseas to register with the relevant police station, seek medical attention or confine themselves to quarantine.

“Nearly 15,000 individuals had arrived in Sri Lanka prior to the restrictions placed on arrivals at the airport. They have been contacted and have been asked to remain in self-quarantine. We request them time and again, to refrain from partaking in gatherings,” he said.

Meanwhile, Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police and Attorney Ajith Rohana said the police curfew would be continually imposed in 18 areas in an effort to prevent people from congregating.

“It is disappointing to note that even after the imposition of the curfew, we have found a large number of people gathered at a single residence, which goes against the purpose of the curfew. This is not a curfew similar to the ones imposed during elections. We expect people to maintain a social distance in an effort to curb the spread of the virus,” he said. “The 119 hotline has received 8,431 phone calls with regard to individuals who had arrived from overseas and relevant officers have been dispatched to check on each.”

He also added that from today onwards, the police along with officers of the Consumer Affairs Authority will conduct raids as there have been many complaints regarding the hoarding of sanitization items such as gloves and surgical masks. He added that legal action would be taken against individuals who are found to be hoarding such items.

Information Director General Nalaka Kaluwewa detailing the move by the Government to impose a ‘work from home’ rule said that the next few days have not been declared as a public, bank or mercantile holiday and is not meant to be considered as such either.

“The reason for the imposition of such a rule is to merely prevent the congregation of people and to allow individuals to seek self quarantine to prevent the spread of the virus,” he said. “We request the private organizations to formalise modalities where the essential work can be undertaken and completed at minimum resource levels.”

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