Sri Lanka Army

Defenders of the Nation

12th May 2021 18:09:17 Hours

Head, NOCPCO Announces Emergency Travel Restrictions & Preparedness

"Today, we announced a ban on travel movements within the respective district and across regions, effective from 11.00 pm today to 0400 am tomorrow, and imposition of the same from 11.00 pm on Thursday (13) up until 4.00 am on Monday (17), considering the long weekend. The people, engaged in essential services, for example, health, military, water, electricity, those who want to reach hospitals, lorries carrying essential food supplies, etc will be allowed and all other unnecessary movements would not be allowed," so said General Shavendra Silva, Head, NOCPCO, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army during a special meeting, he held this afternoon (12) at NOCPCO with stakeholders of the NOCPCO Task Force.

General Shavendra Silva, Head, NOCPCO and Dr Asela Gunawardene, Director General of Health Services led the briefing, attended by medical experts, health administrators, state officials and service personnel.

General Shavendra Silva said that the vaccination process in the Western Province will continue as planned as numbers of affected persons and COVID-19 deaths are on the increase. "Considering this emergency situation, HE the President met all experts, health authorities, medical representatives of the SLMA, GMOA, and discussed at length regarding the current status and sought recommendations for control of its transmission and increase. They also came out with recommendations for travel restrictions between provinces without going for total lockdowns as such. Yet, it was decided that travel restrictions also be imposed to prevent travel from one district to another district. Those were the decisions that were announced today," he declared.

"So far we have isolated 5 Police divisions and 185 GN divisions and we will also continue to adopt this strategy to prevent the spread of this pandemic in future too. Treatment facilities are being enhanced and the bed capacity has been increased to 13,000 at island-wide ICCs for treatment of positive patients. Telephone communication facilities for easy contact have been established along with introduction of quick evacuation procedures directly from homes to the nearest ICC or the hospital, a huge task indeed undertaken by service personnel. Similarly, we have made our ambulances available for this challenging emergency with medical officers and assistants."

He reiterated that he or his forces would not let any ailing Sri Lankan to lie on the ground without a bed keeping in mind that our forces haven’t so far facilitated our camps for this humanitarian purpose. "In any contingency, we are ready to do any kind of sacrifice, if the worst comes to the worst for the betterment of the country and our Nation," he asserted.

Director General of Health Services and other stakeholders also expressed their views and commented on the present status.