President outlines Sri Lanka’s timeline of COVID-19

Sri Lanka has been able to control the COVID-19 crisis because of the commitment of the people, says President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. 
He made these observations addressing a number of key concerns regarding the COVID-19 epidemic with the Chief Advisor to President Lalith Weeratunga.
Stating that everyone has played a part in controlling the virus, the President observed from the laborer onwards to Pubilc Health Inspectors, nurses, specialist doctors that in the health sector have rendered a huge service. 
The Tri-Forces, police, and intelligence units have contributed tirelessly, he added. 
It has been the commitment of the public sector from secretaries to ministries, districts, and divisions that had ensured essential services without interruption said the President. 
Further, the citizens have silently borne these difficult times, noted President Rajapaksa.
During the discussion, President Rajapaksa outlined the history of the COVID-19 virus in Sri Lanka:
December 2019: The first case of the COVID-19 was reported from Wuhan in China.
Mid-January, 2020: The Chinese Government warned the world about this virus.
January 26, 2020: The Presidential Special Task Force was established bringing the Health Ministry, Tri-Forces, Police, Intelligence, and other related disciplines together. Their primary task was to advise the Government on the steps to control the epidemic.
January 27, 2020: The first COVID-19 patient was identified from Sri Lanka. She was a Chinese tourist.
February 01, 2020: A special flight was sent to bring back 34 Sri Lankans and their immediate families who were studying in Wuhan. As soon as they landed, they were quarantined in the Diyatalawa Army Camp. Thereby, the virus was prevented from spreading into the country.
February 19, 2020: The Chinese lady who was found infected with the virus on January 27 fully recovered and left for China.
March 10, 2020: It was decided for arrivals from Italy, South Korea, and Iran to be sent to a quarantine center.

March 11, 2020: The first Sri Lankan infected with COVID-19 was identified. He was admitted to the IDH. Since then, almost every day new patients were identified. Out of them, 38 were those who had come from abroad and were already in quarantine centers. Since then, another 79 from quarantine centers had been tested positive for COVID-19. Also found another 139 outside quarantine centers, who had got infected in various ways.
March 12, 2020: Every school, university, and education center for vacations was closed. While the schools and universities were physically closed, a separate Task Force was established to facilitate distance learning.
March 16, 2020: It was decided that everyone who arrives in Sri Lanka must be quarantined.
March 18, 2020: All arrivals from the Airport was stopped. A special flight was sent to bring back home 900 pilgrims who got stranded in India. They were sent to a quarantine center.
March 20, 2020: An all-island curfew that was imposed.
March 27, 2020: The first “work from home” week for public servants was declared from March 20 to March 27.
In the latest updates from March 27 to date, Sri Lanka has lost seven victims to COVID-19, noted President.
The fluctuating number of new cases continues to add to the total number of infected cases almost on a daily basis while the number of recoveries is also increasing daily.
Colombo, Gampaha, Kaluthara, and Puttalam continue to be hotspots for the virus, states President’s Media Division.
Therefore, these four districts had been under continuous curfew since March 20, except during two instances when the curfew was lifted in the first week. It was hoped to ease off the curfew by April 27. However, with the increased number of clusters, this curfew had been extended to May 04.
As the other hotspots in the Northern Province and Kandy district are now under control, the curfew these areas except for Akkaraipattuwa, have been eased off, said PMD. Currently, the curfew for these districts is only imposed during the weekend and from 8.00 pm to 5.00 am every weekday.
Throughout this curfew period, those in essential services, agrarian sectors, and industries that directly affect the FOREX have been allowed to function.
Since easing off the curfew, the Administration has introduced a number of steps to recommence the other areas in the public and private sectors. As such, only one-third of the workforce is allowed into business premises per day, noted PMD.
To ensure social distancing and prevent large crowds from gathering, a unique system involving the last digit of the National Identity Card was also devised. For each weekday, a number from 0-9 has been assigned and only those with that digit as the last number in the NIC may come to commercial and other centers.
To date, only 5 districts out of the 25 are considered as the worst hotspots, while the other 20 have a relatively low number or zero cases of COVID-19 patients, states PMD.

Post a Comment