(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has taken a number of decisions to curb the spread of COVID- without impairing the lives of the people and adversely affecting the economy, the President’s Media Division said.
The President made these decisions at a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat today (01) with members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 control.
The government’s measures to quarantine people in their own homes instead of taking them to quarantine centers, are producing successful results. The President pointed out that in order to further formalize this arrangement, the Medical Officer of Health, the Public Health Inspector, the Police and the Army constantly monitor the process.
PCR tests on persons quarantined at home should be done on the 10th day. The President instructed the health authorities to direct the non-infected people to normal life after 14 days.
The President pointed out that the government was able to protect the people very well when they had no experience with COVID-19 and instructed that steps should be taken to control the current situation using the tactics and methods adopted during the last time.
The President emphasized the importance of continuous and random testing of people. He also stressed that every effort should be made to give the results of testing in a short period of time.
The President said that no matter whether the PCR test is done by a private hospital or the government, it is mandatory to direct the person to quarantine until the results are available and the PCR tests carried out in private hospitals should be closely monitored by the Ministry of Health.
Isolation of associates after encountering the infected individuals and areas is an immediate step to prevent the spread of the virus. Going beyond that, the imposition of a curfew is expected to curb the spread of the disease. Therefore, the curfew should be strictly enforced in the affected areas, the President instructed.
It was also decided to suspend travel between the districts except for essential services including distribution of goods.
Basil Rajapaksa, Head of the Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival, said that essential items would be distributed during the curfew period as in the past.
Mr. Rajapaksa said that the program will be implemented by assigning responsibilities to District and Divisional Secretaries, Grama Niladharis and Local Government Representatives and the monthly elders’ allowance will be delivered to their homes as before.
Steps have also been taken to provide a bag of goods worth Rs. 10,000 to those quarantined at home.
The President instructed the officials to investigate the reasons for the spread of the disease if infected are found even after the spread of the disease is stopped.
It was also decided to extend the curfew in the Western Province until 5.00 am on Monday, November 09.
A curfew has been imposed in the Eheliyagoda Police Division in Ratnapura District, Kurunegala Municipal Council area and Kuliyapitiya Police Division until the 9th of this month.
The President also instructed the police not to issue curfew permits as usual during this period.
Ministers Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Dr. Ramesh Pathirana, State Ministers Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle, Dr. Seetha Arambepola, Prof. Channa Jayasumana, Chief Adviser to the President Lalith Weeratunga and members of the Presidential Task Force for COVID-19 Control were present at the discussion.