President makes concrete decisions to curb COVID – 19 spread

President Gotabya Rajapaksa has made several concrete decisions to curb COVID spread without disrupting public life and the economy.

The measures taken by the Government to self-quarantine the infected at their homes instead of taking them to quarantine centers have produced results as expected. In order to make it more effective the process should be continuously monitored by the Medical Officer of Health, the Public Health Inspector, the Police and the Army, President pointed out.

PCR tests on people under home quarantine should be conducted on the 10th day. President instructed to bring back those non-infected to normal life after 14 days.

President made these remarks during a discussion with the members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID – 19 Prevention held at the Presidential Secretariat today (01).

The government was able to protect the people during the first outbreak even when there was no experience on COVID – 19. President said that steps should be taken to control the current situation utilizing the lessons learnt from previously adopted strategies and methods.

President emphasized the importance of conducting continuous and regular random tests. He also stressed that every effort should be made to provide the results within a short period of time. No matter whether the PCR tests are done by a private hospital or the Government, it is mandatory to quarantine the person until the results are released and PCR tests conducted in private hospitals should be closely monitored by the Ministry of Health, President noted.

Isolation of close associates and areas after COVID infected persons are detected is being carried out as an immediate measure to prevent the spread of the virus. In addition to this, curfew will be imposed with the objective of containing the disease. Therefore, the President instructed the police to strictly enforce the curfew once it is declared.

It was also decided to suspend travel between districts except for the purpose of essential services including distribution of goods.

The Head of the Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival Basil Rajapaksa said that essential goods will be distributed in areas where curfew is inforce as in the past.

Rajapaksa also 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 handed over at the doorstep similar to previous occasions.

Steps have also been taken to provide a bag of essential goods worth Rs. 10,000 to those under quarantine at homes.

President instructed officials to investigate the causes of new cases of infection, if any, once the spread of the virus is brought to an end.

It was also decided to extend the curfew currently in force in the Western Province till 5.00 am on Monday, November 9th. Curfew will also continue in Eheliyagoda Police Division in Ratnapura District, Kurunegala city limits and the Kuliyapitiya Police Division till November 9th.

President directed the Police not to issue curfew passes as is the common practice during this period.

Ministers Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Dr. Ramesh Pathirana, State Ministers Dr, Sudarshani Fernandopulle, Dr. Seetha Arambepola, Prof. Channa Jayasumana, Principal Advisor to the President Lalith Weeratunga and members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID prevention were also present.

(Media Release)