COLOMBO, May 30 (AGENCIES): Sri Lanka will impose a nation-wide curfew tomorrow, as a prominent doctors’ trade union warned of a second wave of COVID-19 infections in the country.
The island nation has reported a sudden spike in the number of COVID-19 cases, mainly among those who were recently repatriated from overseas.
The country has recorded 1,559 infections as of Saturday with 10 deaths. Over 750 of the COVID-19 patients have been discharged from hospitals.
Only this week the government formally ended the lockdown imposed since March 20 by lifting daytime curfew in the capital district of Colombo.
The government already declared curfew in the central hilly Nuwara Eliya district on Saturday ahead of the funeral of Sri Lankan Minister and leader of the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) Arumugam Thondaman.
Thondaman, who represented Tamils of Indian origin, died of heart failure on May 26 in Colombo.
Tens of thousands of his supporters had gathered to pay respects to Thondaman, defying all quarantine regulations put in place to curb the pandemic.
Concerns were raised over the presence of large crowds.
In a statement on Saturday, the doctors’ trade union warned that gatherings at a politician’s funeral could trigger the second wave.
Thondaman’s body was taken to the national parliament on Thursday for a lie-in-state and a viewing at his Ceylon Workers’ Congress party head office in Colombo before it was airlifted to his home district of Nuwara Eliya.
The doctors expressed their “displeasure” over the public funeral of Thondaman at a time when health authorities had asked people to restrict funerals to the closest family.