11/28/2020, 08.00
SRI LANKA
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It is chaos after government fails to protect the country from a second COVID-19 wave

by Melani Manel Perera

The authorities take contradictory decision. Schools, villages and districts open one day only to close another. So far, 22,000 coronavirus cases have been reported in the country with 99 deaths. However, about 64,000 people are in quarantine.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – The Sri Lankan government seems to be taking contradictory steps vis-à-vis the lockdown, allowing opening in some places only to close them down later.

“We are facing chaos. The government is not protecting us from the second COVID-19 wave,” said bitterly a government official who asked that his name not be used. "In Sri Lanka, we are suffering because of the big errors of the government, from its negligence," the official added.

Some 22,000 cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported in Sri Lanka by the evening of 27 November, with 99 deaths, government sources indicate.

Sadly, noted a police spokesperson, Deputy inspector general of police Ajith Rohan (pictured), at least 74,000 people, or about 28,000 families, are in quarantine.

The government’s decisions are especially incoherent in the case of schools. After a total lockdown, schools were allowed to reopen, except in the Western Province, where the capital is located.

On Monday, students went back to school, but then schools were ordered closed again yesterday after some an outbreak was reported in the Eastern Province, where 65 schools were forced to shut down for seven days in Kalmunai and 72 in Akkaraipattu.

Eastern Province Governor Anuradha Yahampath justified the decision by saying that 20 cases were reported after testing in two local towns, Akkaraipattu and Sainthamaruthu.

Another 45 schools closed yesterday until 4 December in Kandy district where some villages have been in a total lockdown since Wednesday.

For his part, Education Minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris told parliament that all schools in the Western Province will remain closed indefinitely.

"We just have to protect ourselves, feed ourselves and stay away from others,” the anonymous civil servant said. However, “this is very difficult for a human being to do”.

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