In an attempt to curb the further spread of Covid-19 in the country, Sri Lanka's Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the nationwide quarantine curfew came into effect late August, has been extended till October 1. Following a meeting between the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Friday, Rambukwella said that it has been decided to extend the quarantine curfew till 4 a.m. on October 1, according to reports.
Rambukwella however said government essential services impacting the economy will be permitted to function during the curfew. He said, "As per President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, I will be consulting with Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa to decide which government institutions will be kept open as essential services that contribute to the economy." "While the lockdown is in progress, I urge all citizens to get the available vaccines as soon as possible," he added.
Sri Lanka was to lift the current quarantine curfew on Sep 21 but extended it following a recommendation from the health experts. According to health experts, Sri Lanka is facing a rapid spread of the Delta variant. Since March last year, the island nation has reported a total of 498,694 Covid-19 cases and 11,817 deaths.