National lockdown not ruled out: Shavendra

  • Travel restrictions only if required; urges discipline   


Although no islandwide, blanket lockdown is planned at the moment, the imposition of such a lockdown has not been ruled out in light of the worsening Covid-19 situation in the country, The Morning learnt from the authorities.

Responding to inquiries made by The Morning yesterday (28) as to whether a blanket lockdown or inter and intra-district and provincial travel restrictions would be imposed, National Operations Centre for Prevention of Covid-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) Head and Army Commander General Shavendra Silva said that no such restrictions are planned at the moment, but that they would be considered if the need arises.

“As of now, there will be no travel restrictions, unless the need for it arises. There is also no plan to impose a blanket lockdown as of now, but the possibility is not ruled out.”

Silva said that the public is responsible for containing the spread of the virus through self-discipline.

“There is no point in imposing such restrictions. Rather than us coming on television and speaking about this, it is the people that have to implement the directives we issue. It is time for people to be self-disciplined.”

Although the people were less worried about Covid-19 before the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, as the Covid-19 cases are currently on the rise, the public is more concerned now, Silva noted.

“Cases could even go up to about 2,000 a day and the public is now concerned about that more than before. This variant is not what we experienced earlier and it is a more dangerous situation.”

It was announced yesterday that the UK Covid-19 variant, with a high mortality rate and a high transmissibility rate, is spreading in Sri Lanka.

Therefore, he called on the public to follow the health guidelines and to be disciplined while ensuring that such is maintained by their families at home and also at places of work.

Meanwhile, it was also reported that more areas could be facing isolation depending on the tracing of contacts of Covid-19-positive cases. It was said that the Army is prepared to set up Covid-19 treatment centres if needed, based on the surge in cases. By yesterday, 103,487 cases of Covid-19 were reported in the country.