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Sri Lanka bans travel throughout country

Sri Lanka’s government has banned travel throughout the country for three days in an effort to contain rapidly increasing COVID-19 cases.

The ban is effective from Thursday night until Monday morning. It does not apply to people engaged in essential services such as health, food supply and power.

Those going to the airport for air travel or seeking medical treatment will also be allowed on the roads.

“All others are banned from leaving their houses and travelling on the roads,” said General Shavendra Silva, the army commander and head of the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak.

Health officials are grappling with a surge in cases since last month. The country has already banned public gatherings and parties, and has closed schools and restricted public transport.

Officials warn that cases could rise further in the next two weeks because of celebrations and shopping by people last month to mark the traditional new year.

The health ministry has confirmed 131,098 cases, including 850 fatalities.

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