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No need for Avurudu lockdown: PHIs

With the Sinhala and Tamil New Year (Avurudu) festive season around the corner amidst the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic situation, the Public Health Inspectors’ Union (PHIU) said yesterday (17) that there is no need to go for a countrywide lockdown during this period.

Its Chairman Upul Rohana said that the people should act responsibly to control the situation.

“It seems impractical to impose extra, strict quarantine regulations or more travel restrictions in a country like ours. Therefore, the public should be made aware during the upcoming festive season to act responsibly to prevent a future Covid-19 third wave,” he said.

He also pointed out that the economy as well as imports have been affected during the previous lockdown periods, noting that the businesses are just starting to re-establish their activities. Therefore, he said that a lockdown could have a huge impact on the economy.

However, National Operations Centre for the Prevention of the Covid-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) Head and Army Commander Gen. Shavendra Silva, the ultimate Covid-19-related decision-making body, said that travel restrictions would be imposed if necessary, due to the public’s non-adherence to precautionary measures, as exemplified by the post-Christmas resurgence of Covid-19 cases.

The Army Commander said that the increase in the spread of Covid-19 in Sri Lanka after the Christmas season last year has confirmed that people do not follow the health advice properly during such periods.

“After the long Christmas holidays in December 2020, the highest number of Covid-19 infections were found in January and February this year,” he noted.

Gen. Silva further said that the guidelines issued for quarantine will be changed in the next few days.