The Government fears another lockdown will force the economy to collapse.
Cabinet co-spokesman Udaya Gammanpila, speaking to reporters at the post Cabinet virtual press conference today, said that countries like Australia have enforced a lockdown for the fourth time.
However, he said that Sri Lanka’s economy collapsed, and hundreds of people lost their jobs after a lockdown was enforced last year.
“Sri Lanka does not have the economic strength to manage if there is a lockdown. Even if we want to do it we cannot,” he said.
As a result, Gammanpila said that the government is keen to address the coronavirus issue while keeping the country open.
“The challenge we have ahead of us is to live with the coronavirus,” he said.
The Minister further noted that the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) has a number of infected patients yet the doctors and nurses have not been infected.
“This shows that if proper precautions are taken you will not contract the virus even if you are among infected people,” he said.
Gammanpila also said that the situation in the country keeps changing daily and the Covid Task Force keeps meeting to assess the situation.
He recalled that once Army Commander, General Shavendra Silva had announced in the morning there will not be a curfew but in the evening he had to announce that a curfew is being declared.
As a result, Gammanpila said that decisions to be taken in the future with regards to the coronavirus cannot be determined.