Coronavirus pandemic: Sri Lanka arrests thousands for violating curfew

Sri Lanka, Sri lanka COVID-19, SAARC

Sri Lankans queue for kerosine oil along a road during a temporary lift of a curfew as virus-containment measures in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, March 24, 2020. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

Sri Lanka police say they have arrested thousands including many who were praying in a mosque for violating a countrywide curfew imposed as a part of stringent measures designed to contain the spread of coronavirus

The number of positive cases has risen to 106 and the government has ordered police to strictly impose the curfew to ensure social distancing across the country

On a tip that a group of people were praying in a mosque in the town of Horowpathana about 124 miles 200 kilometers north of Capital Colombo police and health officials went to the mosque and arrested 18 while several dozens have fled.

The government has banned nonessential travel Police have arrested 4600 and seized 1125 vehicles for violating curfew since March 20.