By Vyshnavy Velrajh
The two-day system initially announced for grocery stores and pharmacies to operate on selected days in curfew imposed areas has been cancelled.
The National Operations Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 (NOCPC) announced on Tuesday (27) that essential goods outlets and pharmacies will be allowed to operate on Mondays and Thursdays in the Gampaha and Kalutara districts, and on Tuesdays and Fridays in the Colombo and Kurunegala districts.
However, Head of the NOCPC Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva told Colombo Gazette that the previously announced system was canceleld in order to prevent people from stepping outdoors.
The decision was taken as a containment measure as currently there is a rapid spread of the coronavirus in various areas, he said.
Lt. Gen Shavendra Silva further said that measures are being taken to reintroduce delivery services of essential services and food trucks as was done during the ‘first wave’ of the virus in March 2020.
Supermarkets and grocery stores have been given until today to sort out their delivery systems and staff cadre to reintroduce the services to curfew imposed areas.
The Army Commander said that in the event these measures do not turnout as planned over the next few days, discussions will be held with relevant authorities and announce alternative measures.
Meanwhile, Police Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana said that essential goods outlets, such as supermarkets and Lanka Sathosa, have been permitted to operate 15 delivery services.
These outlets will be allowed to operate delivery services using cars, vans, motorcycles, and three-wheelers.
DIG Ajith Rohana said that food centres have been permitted to operate 10 delivery services, while pharmacies can implement their own delivery services.
Divisional Secretariats of curfew imposed areas have been placed in charge of issuing curfew permits for delivery services.
Those requiring to operate delivery services have been requested to visit their nearest Divisional Secretariats to obtain their curfew permits, DIG Rohana said.
The NOCPC yesterday announced that the curfew imposed in the entire Western Province from Friday (30) to today (02) will be extended till 05.00am on the 9th of November 2020.
It also announced that a curfew has been enforced in the Kurunegala Municipal Council (MC) area, Kuliyapitiya and Eheliyagoda in the Ratnapura District from 5.00am today until 5.00 am on November 09. (Colombo Gazette)