In a statement today, the Prime Minister said that with the coronavirus outbreak now under control to a certain degree, the Government has gradually begun relaxing the curfew.
He said that from tomorrow Government and private sector institutions will begin functioning with a limited number of employees.
“The number of passengers on trains and buses will be limited. Schools and tuition classes will remain closed. Social distancing rules are to be maintained when commencing work in this phased manner,” he said.
The Prime Minister noted that at the early stages, when curfew was relaxed in certain districts, people did not observe social distancing norms.
However after a while, people became more mindful of the need for social distancing in public places.
“The public should continue to be mindful of the need for social distancing even after the curfew is relaxed. We should all be aware that even though the spread of coronavirus has been brought under control, it has not been eradicated completely,” he said.
He also said that random sample testing among members of the public will continue to be carried out.
The Prime Minister also said that even after the restoration of normalcy has begun, it may be necessary to isolate and lock down certain areas and even to impose police curfews.
“Coronavirus patients may continue to be found, but I believe our health authorities have by now mastered the manner in which such situations should be handled. We will have to maintain a balance between steps taken to prevent the spread of the disease on the one hand and the restoration of normalcy on the other. Even countries like Italy, Britain, France and the USA which experienced tens of thousands of coronavirus related deaths have now commenced programmes for the gradual restoration of normal life,” he said.
The Prime Minister appealed to the public to extend their fullest cooperation to the armed forces and police for the phased restoration of normal life in the country. (Colombo Gazette)