Sri Lanka’s overall Covid-19 death toll has increased to 1,133 after the island-nation recorded its highest single-day fatalities, statistics from the Health Ministry revealed.
According to health officials, Sri Lanka has witnessed a high number of deaths from the virus in recent weeks due to a rapid spread of a new variant which has left hospitals and intensive care units filled to its capacity, Xinhua news agency reported.
The new variant has now become airborne with health authorities urging people to remain indoors as much as possible and to wear masks while leaving their homes.
As over 50,000 people have been infected with the virus within the past one month alone, Sri Lankan authorities on Friday imposed an islandwide travel restriction, similar to a curfew, to prevent a further spread of the virus.
Army Commander and Head of the National Operations Center for the Prevention of Covid-19 Outbreak, General Shavendra Silva said only essential workers, medical workers, food trucks, pharmacies and food deliveries would be able to operate.
The travel restriction will be lifted on May 25 at 4 a.m. but will be imposed again at 11 p.m. and will be lifted on May 28 at 4 a.m.
Police said over 20,000 officers had been deployed to ensure people remain indoors.
According to the Health Ministry, Sri Lanka has to date recorded 161,242 coronavirus cases since the first person was infected in March last year.
The current active patient count is 32,973.