Travel restrictions to be relaxed from June 21 | Daily News

Travel restrictions to be relaxed from June 21

Inter-provincial travel curbs to remain

Permission for last rites of non-COVID deaths within 24 hours

No public gatherings permitted

The travel restrictions will be relaxed at 4 a.m. on June 21 and will be re-imposed from 10 p.m. on June 23 to 4 a.m. on June 25, the President’s Office announced yesterday.

However, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed officials not to relax the inter-provincial travel restrictions.

The restrictions imposed on public gatherings will continue as before. In addition, the heads of institutions in both public and private sectors should ensure that the respective entities are maintained under a minimum number of employees.

The President also emphasised the need for all trade and economic operations to be carried out with the participation of a minimum number of people.

President Rajapaksa was speaking at a meeting of the Special COVID-19 Committee at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday morning (18).

Many complaints have been received with regard to delays in conducting last rites of non-COVID-19-related deaths as a result of subjecting them to PCR tests. The President has instructed to give approval to conduct the last rites of those passed away from non-COVID-19-related causes within 24 hours, taking into account the economic and severe hardships faced by the families of the deceased.

Though it was decided to lift travel restrictions on June 14, steps were taken to extend the restrictions until June 21 based on the data received that 101 deaths were reported on June 11. The President then extensively elaborated on the data obtained by the Health sector and the Intelligence Units following a thorough investigation conducted into the causes of deaths.

It was also revealed that some of the deaths occurred during the four-month period from February 6 to June 11, and death certificates had also been issued. Information on certain deaths was found to have been mentioned twice.

The President said that it was revealed following an in-depth investigation that the death toll occurred on June 11 was not 101 but only 15. The President emphasized that accuracy and timeliness in the provision of data is essential for making the right decisions.

Over four million vaccines have been imported so far. Dr. Prasanna Gunasena, Chairman of the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation, said that at least another four million vaccines are expected in July and accordingly, a higher percentage of people can be vaccinated.

Ministers Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Gamini Lokuge, Bandula Gunawardena, Keheliya Rambukwella, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Prasanna Ranatunga, Rohitha Abeygunawardena, Ramesh Pathirana and Namal Rajapaksa, State Ministers Sudarshani Fernandopulle and Channa Jayasumana, MP Madhura Withanage, Principal Advisor to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Health Secretary Major General Specialist Dr. Sanjeewa Munasinghe, Commanders of the three Armed Forces and the Heads of the Health Sector were also present at the meeting.






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