Updated guidelines issued for public focused on the “new normal”

By Easwaran Rutnam

Updated guidelines have been issued for the public focused on the “new normal” with the country gradually resuming day-to-day activities.

The updated guidelines includes strict restrictions on social events, religious activities and tuition classes.

A general timeline in which resumption of activities can take place is listed in the new report and all resumed functions would have to strictly follow the new normal behaviours.

Director-General of Health Services Dr Anil Jasinghe said that the updated guidelines were issued today and are focused mainly on public activities.

Jasinghe said that activities not listed in the document can be clarified from the local Public Health Inspector.

He said that while the initial guidelines issued in April focused on how state and private institutions must operate, the updated guidelines are focused on the new normal for the public.

“The guidelines have been uploaded on the Health Ministry website and Government information department website for anyone to access,” he said.

The Health Ministry said that the ‘Advocacy Brief on resumption of public activities during gradual exit from existing restrictions for COVID-19 in Sri Lanka’ is to support the process to occur in a manageable and feasible manner.

This is to enable resumption of economic, administrative and social activities, keeping in mind public health principles, in order to prevent spread of the disease.

The Health Ministry said that in development of the Advocacy brief, a range of public and organization activities and functions were considered together with their functional risks, keeping in mind the urgency to inform all stakeholders and the need for equity, following a rights based approach.

In compiling the document, the WHO recommended and other evidence based standards were considered and adapted to the country and specific context and are presented in a simple, easily understandable format.

The timeline approach presented in the brief allows decision making to be reviewed in keeping with the epidemiological pattern of the disease. (Colombo Gazette)

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