Long before the outbreak of the pandemic in the country, the socio political system and the economy of Sri Lanka were not in a satisfactory state. The country was in heavy debt with all economic activities on the verge of near collapse.
The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the situation, accelerating the pace of the economic decay. In this scenario, the COVID19 pandemic needs to be brought to finish sooner is best for the country.
The health authorities with other supporting authorities have taken all necessary steps to contain spread of COVID-19; in the past six weeks have managed to contain it within the first three phases of spread.
As part of the preparation to control the virus entering the final phase into the community the authorities have planned to shift from curfew to a lockdown from 4 May onwards. With the aim of providing greater freedom of mobility for citizens and less restrictions on much needed economic activities.
Under this potential lockdown, offices will be allowed to open, travel between districts will be permitted for work purposes and citizens allowed to step out of their homes to fulfil essential needs.
These relaxation measures have all the attributes of a lockdown akin to those imposed throughout the western world. Is generally regarded as less restrictive than curfew, with greater mobility and greater individual responsibility by citizens.
Whereas imposing curfew is a measure aimed at keeping people at home in fear of arrest. Therefore, whether the Government lifts curfew on 4 May or shifts to a lockdown, citizens of the Western Province are guaranteed an end to what would by then be a six-week curfew.
Heads of government and non-government offices have been ordered to discuss further plans pertaining to the work process within next week and all the offices should be opened at 10 a.m. daily.
Only one-third of the workers can be present in departments, corporations, and government offices. Other workers can continue to work from home. The officials have been given the freedom to choose employees from different divisions to come into office on different days.
Importantly, the citizens are not allowed to stay on the roads and gather in places so as to prevent the spread of the virus. Public transportation will be restricted only for employees and essential workers and other people are required to stay at home.
In this scenario people are only allowed to go out to buy medicines or to fulfil other essential needs and that too only to shops or pharmacies within walking distance.
Even for these needs, citizens will only be permitted to go out based on the last number on their identity card, even to fulfil their essential needs.
The authorities will keep track of whether citizens obey the rules in order to decide whether to continue with the health measures imposed by the Government.
Furthermore, people are advised to continue to adhere to safety precautions such as wearing masks and practicing good hygiene as they did before.
Travel between districts will remain restricted with people being allowed to travel between districts mainly for employment purposes and the provision of essential services.
Schools, universities, tuition classes, other educational institutions, and cinemas will continue to be closed until further notice. The curfew may be imposed in certain areas that are identified as high-risk zones. Functions such as pilgrimages, trips, and meetings are strictly prohibited.
The conditions imposed on those venturing out are as follows: Citizens whose last digit on their identity card is 1 or 2 will be allowed to step out of their houses on Mondays, 3 or 4 on Tuesdays, 5 or 6 on Wednesdays, 7 or 8 on Thursdays, and 9 or 0 on Fridays. All Citizens shall help by observing about conditions to pass over the COVID19 pandemic safely; to rebuild the collapsed economy!