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07 Oct 2020 | 07:42 AM UTC

Sri Lanka: Authorities ban public gatherings from October 7 /update 21

Sri Lanka News Alert

Authorities ban all public gatherings from October 7 amid rise in COVID-19 cases; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/7/2020, 12:00 AM until 11/19/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Colombo). COUNTRY/REGION Sri Lanka, Gampaha

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Sri Lankan authorities announced that a ban on all public gatherings has been implemented as of October 7, due to a rise in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country. The ban on gatherings applies to parties, exhibitions, conferences, entertainment events, carnivals, and indoor and outdoor events.

Health authorities reported that the most recent outbreak was centered at a garment factory, where 830 cases were recorded and over 1000 employees had to quarantine in their residence. The recent increase came days after Sri Lanka reported its first community infection of the virus in two months.  

Authorities further announced on Wednesday, October 7, that an indefinite curfew has been declared in areas of the Gampaha District following an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the towns. The following areas will be affected by the curfew: Divulapitiya, MinwangodaGampaha, Kirindiwela, Dompe, Pugoda, Ganemulla, Weeragula, Weliweriya, Malwathuhiripitiya, Nittambuwa, Meerigama, Pallewela, Yakkala, Ja-Ela, Kandana, and Kelaniya Police areas. 

As of Wednesday, October 7, there have been 4252 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka with 13 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.


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