The curfew which was scheduled to be lifted on April 22 in the Colombo, Kalutara, Gampaha and Puttalam districts has been extended to April 27 with a spike in the number of COVID-19 positive cases these past two days.
By the evening of April 20th, the number of positive cases had risen to 303. So far seven patients have succumbed to the infection.
Meanwhile with the curfew lifted in most parts of the country, and others scheduled for April 22, the Directorate of Environment Health, Occupational Health and Food Safety of the Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medical Services, urged those with COVID 19 symptoms such as a fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat and/or shortness of breath to avoid reporting to work when curfew restrictions are relaxed.
The communique also advises people who had come in contact with an infected person or suspected of infection during the past 14 days, and those who had been in quarantine to avoid reporting to work.
Reminding the public of the possible transmission methods at workplaces, the directorate stated that there are three main methods this could happen; through droplets from an infected person, direct contact such as hugging or shaking hands with an infected person, and indirectly when a person comes in contact with a contaminated surface and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth.
In addition, anyone (both visitors and employees) entering the work premises are requested to wash their hands with soap and water, or sanitize their hands with an alcohol based disinfectant before entering a building.
Employers are encouraged to check the temperature of all staff members, and anyone with a temperature above 98.4 °F or 37 °C are to be sent back home. Also, staff is to keep a distance of one meter between each other at all times.
All members are asked to wear a mask and follow proper disposal techniques, while touching ones face is strongly discouraged.
Employees are advised to also avoid sharing stationary such as pens, and if shared to properly sanitize them after each use.
As well, on their return home from work, they are instructed to wash their hands with soap and water, remove their clothing and shoes before entering the house, and bring those in only after they are washed. Those returning from work are also encouraged to take a bath on their return, before entering the house. As well, any belongings taken out of the house are to be kept outside and brought into the house only after disinfection.
In the case a staff member is suspected of having contracted COVID-19, employers have been requested to contact Suwasariya on 1990 and transport the patient to hospital in an ambulance.
For further information the Ministry of Health can be contacted on its 24 hour hotline- 0113 071 073. The Government media unit hotline can be reached on 117, while the phone number for Suwa Sariya Health line is 0710 107 107. They can also contact the area Medical Officer of Health if necessary.