No nationwide lockdown, says Army Chief

Army Commander. Lt. General Shavendra Silva yesterday denied reports of a country wide lockdown or Colombo city being placed under a curfew following the detection of the latest COVID-19 cluster in Minuwangoda.

Silva told Daily Mirror that ‘as of today’ there were no plans to implement a lockdown or curfew specially in Colombo but contingency plans were ready to be imposed if the situation worsened.

“But as of today there are no such plans. But we are closely monitoring the situation and we are ready to face the situation,” he said.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was briefed on the latest situation by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 last afternoon where steps were discussed on how to isolate the thousands of people who had come in contact directly and indirectly with the patients in the Minuwangoda cluster.

One of the proposals which was submitted to the President was to transport the first contacts to quarantine centers while the second and third contacts would undergo strict home quarantine. Thousands will be subjected to PCR tests in the coming days.

However at the discussions, no decision had been taken to impose a curfew in Colombo or go in for a nationwide or partial lockdown as till yesterday the necessity did not arise.

A government source who attended the meeting however told that the President had ordered for the situation to be closely monitored and the police divisions where more patients are detected in the coming days may come under a curfew.Till last night, Veyangoda, Minuwangoda and Divulapitiya police areas remained under a curfew.

Schools will also remain closed until further notice.

Meanwhile the Army Chief said further contact tracing was ongoing to trace the associates of the Minuwangoda cluster and he urged the public to strictly adhere to all health guidelines. As of last evening, over 70 people had tested positive from the Minuwangoda area while health authorities said they were expecting more patients in the coming days.

“This might emerge into a very large cluster and we are attempting to control the situation,” health authorities said. None of the patients from the Minuwangoda cluster were said to be seriously ill and most of them had been transferred to the IDH last evening.

You May also like