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Sri Lanka closes harbours after spike in COVID-19 cases

Sri Lanka closes harbours after spike in COVID-19 cases

FILE PHOTO: People maintain the one-metre distance between each other in Colombo, Sri Lanka, as they stand in a line to buy groceries during the break in the curfew imposed to tackle the new coronavirus in the country, Mar 24, 2020. (REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte/File Photo)

COLOMBO: Authorities in Sri Lanka on Saturday (Oct 24) closed at least two fishery harbours and many stalls after a surge of 609 cases linked to the country’s main fish market.

The government also widened the curfew in parts of Colombo. At least 11 villages were isolated in the densely populated Western province, which includes the capital.

Health authorities on Wednesday temporarily closed the fish market on Colombo’s outskirts after 49 traders tested positive for the coronavirus. By Saturday, the number of cases went up to 609.

Hundreds of traders and fishermen are being tested.

Authorities say the outbreak is related to a cluster in a garment factory early this month, which has grown to 3,426 cases, almost half the country’s total of 6,287. It broke a two-month lull in infections.

Several thousand people have been asked to quarantine at home. Schools and key public offices are closed, gatherings banned and restrictions imposed on public transport.

Sri Lanka has had 14 deaths since March.

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Source: AP/kv

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