Only two passengers will be allowed in the Tuk.

The risk of a community spread of the corona virus has resulted in the Police instructing all mobile delivery agents such as individual vendors and those attached to grocery and food outlets to follow strict preventative measures or face the cancellation of their curfew passes.

The communique issued by the Police Media Division states that delivery agents must adhere to the following, when delivering or selling essential items to the public.

  • Be dressed in clean attire
  • Feet must be completely covered
  • Wear face masks and gloves when carrying out sales
  • Use sanitizers
  • Do not touch bakery or food items with your hands, instead use tongs
  • Food items for sale must be placed in paper or some other containers
  • Avoid touching food items, containers and personal protective coverings after touching money
  • Do not allow consumers to touch any of the food items

As well, public is requested to keep a metre’s distance when gathering around the mobile vendors.

As the number of patients testing positive increased over the past few days, Health Authorities too introduced several more preventative measures.

Addressing the media, Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe, stated that Tuk-Tuk’s will be allowed to carry only two passengers, while Barber shops will remain closed, all kiosks providing food etc. outside hospitals, which do not meet basic public health standards will also remain closed.   Advising the public to opt for take-away food instead of eating at restaurants, he added that small eating houses which do not meet the required hygienic standards will also be closed.

These measures are being introduced with the discovery of nearly 55 positive patients in the Srimath Bandaranayake Mawatha locality in Colombo 12, and several other patients outside Colombo. Dr. Jasinghe added that PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) testing will be carried out in all of the under-served areas in Colombo.  As well, arrangements have been made to test those who come into work in Colombo at their workplaces.

The first patient identified in the Bandaranayake Mawatha locality is a 59 year old woman.  She had been in India, returning to Sri Lanka in early March.  Though she had tested positive only a few days ago, the COVID-19 Task Force statement of April 18th states that she had been displaying symptoms before March 27th.   As she is an asthmatic, she had not thought it was necessary to test for the virus assuming her illness was connected to her health condition.

The total number of new positive patients on Wednesday, April 22 was recorded as 20.  Eleven of them were from the Beruwela area and were already in a quarantine centre, while another had been a patient at the Polonnaruwa Hospital.  Counterpoint learns that 12 villages in the Lankapura Division, in the Polonnaruwa District have been isolated, since then.

On Tuesday, April 21, two of the positive patients identified were from the Piliyandala and Borelasgamuwa localities.  Samples from 530 individuals have been obtained from those working and connected with the Peliyagoda Fish Market, as the patient from Piliyandala is a fish vendor.  Meanwhile, Dr. Jasinghe said the 62 samples of those connected with a private hospital in Pannipitiya, tested for the virus were negative.  These tests had been carried out as the patient from Borelasgamuwa had obtained medication from the said hospital.

A new treatment centre has also been opened at the Kattankudy Medical Centre.

Warning that COVID- 19 has not yet been eradicated from Sri Lanka, and that it will take some time for that to happen, Dr. Jasinghe said though restriction of movements have been relaxed somewhat in most of the country, one cannot be complacent.

It is important, he said, that the public maintain social distancing, wash hands with soap and water and follow the guidelines provided at the workplace and at the market place.

The total number of patients had risen to 330 by the end of the day.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here