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    Govt. not ready for complete shut-down - Min. Pavithra Wanniarachchi

    March 18, 2020

    The Government is currently not prepared to implement a complete lockdown at this point due to several practical issues, said Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi.

    Addressing a media briefing held at the National Operation Centre for Prevention of Covid-19 said that a complete lockdown will have a serious impact on the daily lives of most people. She said that there are many people especially in the Ratnapura District who engage in daily labour work and feed their families with it. Hence, she noted that in the event there is a 14 day lockdown, these people would starve.

    Therefore, Minister Wanniarachchi said that taking this situation into consideration it was decided during a meeting with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday and not to implement a complete lockdown at this point of time.

    However, the minister said that it was decided to enforce restrictions on certain high risk areas in order to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

    The Minister said that the military officer had contracted the Coronavirus while on duty at the airport when the group of persons who returned from Italy had behaved in an unruly manner. Therefore, she said that while the government has taken all measures to contain this epidemic and minimise the impact on the larger population, it is also the responsibility of the people to act in a responsible manner and refrain from spreading the virus.

    Hence, she urged the people to cooperate with the health authorities and follow their instructions in order to stop the spread of the virus.



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