Sri Lanka extends lockdown till October 1; health sector overwhelmed

Faced with an “unbearable” number of daily Covid-19 cases, the Sri Lankan government has extended the ongoing lockdown till October 01, Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said

Sep 17, 2021
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Sri Lanka extends lockdown till October 1

Faced with an “unbearable” number of daily Covid-19 cases, the Sri Lankan government has extended the ongoing lockdown till October 01, Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said.

The minister tweeted Friday morning following a Covid-19 committee meeting chaired by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa that essential services will be permitted to operate during the lockdown period.

He appealed to the public to use the period to get themselves vaccinated against Covid-19.

Despite a drop in daily COVID-19 cases, Sri Lanka’s health sector is still overwhelmed and the country can only relax if new infections are brought down to the level seen before October 2020, a top health official said on Thursday.

Health Services Deputy Director Hemantha Herath told reporters on Thursday that the current rate of around 2,300 daily cases is “unbearable” and more than the overburdened health sector can handle at present.

“We have to bring down the current numbers even further. There was a time when all new cases we found were returnees from abroad with no patients identified locally. After that period, it was about 100 local cases a day.

“We need to go back to that level. I don’t know to what extent we will succeed in doing that, but we must try, because if we can’t handle 2,300 a day then it should be obvious that we can’t handle anything higher than that,” said Herath, according to Economynext.

(SAM)