Mar 20, 2020

Trips & pilgrimages prohibited ; passengers on public transport limited

The government has decided to impose an immediate ban travel on excursions, pilgrimages and tours as a measure to curb the prevailing Covid-19 epidemic and safeguard lives.

Although public gatherings have been discouraged, there have been reports of tourists, local and foreign, visiting places in groups.

Public is urged to maintain a social distance of at least one metre.

Public outrageThese measures are welcomed by many netizens after a recent statement made by the Chief incumbent of Sri Padasthanaya Ven. Bengamuwe Dammadinna Thera sparked outrage.

The Thera had said that the Sri Pada pilgrimage would continue until the Vesak full Moon Day in May despite Nuwara Eliya District Secretary's request to suspend the season due to the prevailing situation in the country.

He had observed that people made various sacrifices in order to invoke the blessings of the Buddha and the God Saman and asserted that had they feared diseases or viruses such as the current coronavirus, they wouldn't have been climbing the sacred mountain for so long.

However, the Thera had said that it was up to the Buddha Sasana Ministry to decide whether to suspend the pilgrimage or not.

Passenger loads on public transport, halvedMeanwhile, the government has also requested to follow new procedures when using public transport.

In order to maintain necessary social distance, the government has instructed to halve the number of passengers usually transported.

Following reports of extensive passenger rush at Pettah ahead of the islandwide curfew, the government has taken measures to ensure that extra trains and buses will be operating from Pettah and Fort in Colombo.

No shortage of essential goodsThe government has also announced that ample stocks of essential food items have been issued to Sathosa outlets and co-op outlets.

Re-imposing of curfew to be announced on SundayThe government also says an announcement will be made on Sunday (22) on when curfew will be re-imposed after 6.00am on Monday (23).