Sri Lanka rules out lockdown amid Omicron spread, urges people to get boosters

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Sri Lanka’s Health authorities have ruled out a nationwide lockdown as the Omicron variant of Covid-19 caused a rapid rise in infections recently, local media reported on Tuesday.

The authorities also urged people to get booster doses to limit hospitalisations, Xinhua news agency reported.

There had been an internal discussion whether some restrictions should be re-imposed, but a lockdown had been ruled out, Channa Jayasumana, State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals, was quoted by the Daily Mirror as saying.

According to official statistics from the Health Ministry, Sri Lanka had recorded more than 1,000 Covid-19 cases on Sunday and Monday after more than 100 days.

Jayasumana said that those aged above 20 years were encouraged to get their booster vaccines in order to limit hospitalisations triggered by the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, and booster doses were available in all medical offices across the country.

Sri Lanka is administering the Pfizer vaccine as the third vaccine dose irrespective of the vaccine type taken in the first two doses.

The country has recorded 611,185 Covid-19 cases since March 2020 and has reported 15,441 deaths till Monday.

Sri Lanka’s Health Ministry has made it mandatory to wear face masks and maintain social distance in public.

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