Colombo, Oct 11 (PTI) Sri Lanka will gazette a new coronavirus quarantine regulation next week that will ensure stricter norms and severe punishment, including six month imprisonment, for those violating it, health minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi announced on Sunday.
Under the new norms, the island nation will ensure anyone not wearing a face mask, not maintaining social distancing faces legal action. “The government is currently taking steps to ensure public health security. Accordingly there will be a gazette which would enable to take legal action against those who defy quarantine regulations in areas designated by the DG Health Services pandemic prone”, Wanniarachchi said.
“The gazette will cover those who neglect wearing face masks; fail to keep social distance and those who object when body temperature is being checked.
They will be subject to a Rs 10,000 fine and a 6 months imprisonment, the minister said.
Bringing a gazette of the new norms follows the current spike where since last week some 19 areas in the Western province’s Gampaha district were placed under police curfew due to the latest cluster involving a garment export factory.
So far 1,186 persons have been confirmed.
“We have information that all persons confirmed have links to the cluster,” Army chief General Shavendra Silva, who heads the COVID-19 prevention operations, said.
He said the third level contacts may not be aware of the link to the factory, but COVID-19 prevention authorities were finding the links.
He said Sri Lanka may opt to expand the number of quarantine centers as nearly 10,250 persons were in quarantine at 96 centres run by the military.
“There are questions being raised whether we have more quarantine facilities,” General Silva said.
Sri Lanka till now has 4,628 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 13 deaths being reported so far. PTI CORR RUP RUP RUP