Saturday March 21, 2020 12:16:42
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has made an open appeal to any returnee who had entered the country through unofficial channels to come forward, promising that no legal action will be taken against them, as the country goes through its first full day of a lockdown-style curfew.
“We are not interested in whether they went out of the country or came back illegally,” Army Chief Shavendra Silva said in an interview with Sri Lanka’s NewsFirst television.
“Please come forward and register. No action will be taken. This is not a time for us to worry about immigration laws,” he said.
Streets in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo were deserted in the first day of a country-wide curfew to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Police said the curfew was holding and less than a dozen persons had been arrested in Haputale, Badulla and a few other areas.
Sri Lanka slapped the lockdown-style curfew yesterday, as total cases topped 70 (72 by this afternoon) and a patient was admitted to a hospital on a heart complaint exposing other patients and contacts.
General Silva said 11,482 persons who were returnees or had contact with suspected persons were now under home quarantine, being visited by quarantine officials.
More than 2,700 were quarantined in 17 centres run by the military.
Sri Lanka has also issued home quarantine guidelines.