Nightclubs in Colombo ordered to suspend operations

By Vyshnavy Velrajh

Nightclubs in Colombo have been ordered to temporarily suspend operations.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Health of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Dr. Ruwan Wijeyamuni told Colombo Gazette that health authorities have raised concerns over some nightclubs operating during the current pandemic.

Nightclubs have not been given approval to resume operations and the Police have now been requested to take appropriate action.

Dr. Wijeyamuni pointed out that the new COVID-19 variant is highly transmissible and the virus variants found in the country at present are constantly mutating.

The CMO of Health of the CMC said that the world over, nightclubs have been identified as high-risk zones for the spread of COVID-19, and so Sri Lanka should also take necessary precautions in this regard.

He said the authorities have been requested to halt operations of all nightclubs in Colombo, and action will be taken against any nightclub found to be operating in violation of the order.

Dr. Wijeyamuni said a request has also been made to revise the number of guests permitted for weddings and birthday parties.

Such events have been found to be a source for the spread of the coronavirus, he said.

Dr. Wijeyamuni further requested the public in Colombo to curtail movement in view of the new COVID-19 variant being detected in the city. Residents have been requested to avoid crowded places and to limit unnecessary travel.

Dr. Wijeyamuni said these restrictions are necessary until at least the end of this year and until the entire population of Sri Lanka is vaccinated.

He emphasised that it was necessary to obtain the acquired immunity for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Pointing out that Colombo has seen the highest transmission rate, Dr. Wijeyamuni said however, that the antibodies in people from the community are at the 20% level, which is considered a high rate.

He said the existing antibodies can be increased to nearly 70% through the COVID vaccines and will eventually help stop the spread of the virus.

Dr. Wijeyamuni said the vaccination process will take at least another 10 months and Sri Lanka will require close to one million vaccine doses for this purpose. (Colombo Gazette)