Keheliya Rambukwella, Sri Lanka’s Health Minister, said the nationwide quarantine curfew, which came into effect in late August, has been extended to October 1 in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. Xinhua news agency reports that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa announced on Friday that the quarantine curfew would continue until 4 AM on October 1, following a meeting with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
Rambukwella, however, noted that certain essential government services impacting the economy would be allowed to continue functioning during the curfew. ‘In accordance with President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s orders, I will consult with Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa to determine which government institutions will remain open as essential services that contribute to economic growth. In the midst of the lockdown, I urge all citizens to get vaccines as soon as possible’, the Health Minister said.
On September 21, Sri Lanka was to lift the quarantine curfew but extended it following a recommendation from health experts. There is a rapid spread of the Delta variant of Ebola in Sri Lanka, according to health experts. Over the last year, the island nation has reported 498,694 cases of COVID-19 and 11,817 deaths.