Sri Lanka extends travel restrictions

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Colombo, May 25 (IANS) Sri Lankan authorities have said the island-wide travel restrictions imposed initially imposed on May 21, will now be extended till June 7 in order to prevent a further spread of the novel coronavirus.

The travel restriction was earlier scheduled to be lifted on May 28, reports Xinhua news agency.

Highways Minister Johnston Fernando told a media briefing here on Monday that the restrictions will continue till June 7 but will be relaxed on May 25, May 31, and June 4 to allow one person from each household to visit their nearest grocery stores and stock up on essential items.

He said no one would be allowed to travel in vehicles and those leaving their homes must purchase their stocks and return home immediately.

Those who want to visit the pharmacies will be allowed, the Minister said, and export activities will continue throughout the restricted period.

The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on the recommendation of health experts.

Sri Lanka has been facing a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases within the past month as health experts warned that a new variant of the coronavirus was fast spreading in all districts.

According to official figures, over 50,000 cases have been recorded within the past month amid a resurgence of the virus in the island nation.

The country has registered a total of 164,201 Covid-19 cases and 1,210 deaths so far.

–IANS

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