Sri Lanka Extends Travel Ban for 2 More Weeks

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lankan government on Monday extended the on-going travel ban for another two weeks as health experts warned of a possible breakdown of the country’s health system due to the current state of the infection.

Sri Lanka is currently under a weeklong travel ban which was scheduled to be eased on May 28. But on Monday, the government announced that the lockdown-style ban will continue until June 07. During this period, the ban will be eased for several hours on two days to allow people to buy food and other essentials from any outlets within the walking distance.

However, the ban will not apply to those engaged in essential services such as health, food supply and power sector and those seeking medical treatment while others are banned from leaving their houses.

The fresh restrictions were imposed as the island’s key medical associations cautioned that the infection is rampant across the country and that the actual number in the community is more than three times the number detected.

According to the latest statistics of the health ministry, Sri Lanka has 161,242 positive cases with 1178 fatalities.

Doctors have predicted that the number of patients could rapidly rise in the next two weeks because of the last month’s celebrations and shopping by the people to mark the traditional new year.

Sri Lanka has halted public transport, banned public gatherings, parties, weddings and closed schools and universities.


NEW YORK (AP) — President Joe Biden promised to distribute hundreds of millions of free COVID-19 tests and to open more testing sites to fight surging infections, but the stepped-up efforts will not come in time for people who want to find out if they are infected before the holidays.

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