Colombo: Sri Lanka on Friday extended the lockdown in the coronavirus high risk zones of the country, including capital district Colombo, till May 11, saying steps were being made to bring life and institutions back to normalcy.
"The curfew in the capital district of Colombo and three other high risk zones for COVID-19 was due to be lifted on 4 May. This has now been extended till 11 May," an official statement said.
Sri Lanka has recorded 690 confirmed COVID 19 cases with 7 deaths so far.
"Steps are underway to bring life and institutions back to normalcy from May 11," the statement issued from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's office said.
All essential services in these areas are to be re-opened by opening the state and private institutions while adhering to health guidelines.
Dr Anil Jasinghe, the country's top health official, said they have taken control of preventing the COVID-19 from spreading in the western province to a large extent.
He said efforts are underway to double the current daily PCR test capacity.
Sri Lanka has registered a major fall in tourist arrivals due to the coronavirus outbreak, with an over 70 per cent decline in footfalls in March compared to the same period last year.
The island nation stopped all passenger flights and ship services on March 18 in view of the novel coronavirus outbreak Till then in March, 71,370 international tourists visited Sri Lanka, according to Sri Lanka Tourist Development Authority's Tourist Arrivals Report for March 2020.