It has been decided to relax travel restrictions from 4 am on June 21. However, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa instructed the officials not to relax the inter-provincial travel restrictions. Travel restrictions will be re-imposed and continue from 10 pm on June 23 to 4 am on June 25.
The restrictions imposed on public gatherings will continue as before. In addition, the heads of institutions in both public and private sectors should ensure that the entities are maintained under a minimum number of employees.
The President also stressed the need for all trade and economic operations to be carried out with the participation of a minimum number of people.
The President was addressing a meeting with the Special Covid-19 Committee at the Presidential Secretariat on June 18 morning.
Many complaints have been received on delays in conducting the last rites of non-Covid-19-related deaths as a result of subjecting them to PCR tests. The President has instructed to give approval to conduct the last rites of those who passed away due to non-Covid-19-related causes within 24 hours, considering the economic and severe hardships faced by the families of the deceased.
Though it was decided to lift travel restrictions on June 14, steps were taken to extend the restrictions until June 21, based on the data received that 101 deaths were reported on June 11. The President then extensively elaborated on the data obtained by the Health sector and the Intelligence Unit following a thorough investigation conducted into the causes of deaths.
It was also revealed that some deaths occurred during the four-month period from February 6 to June 11, and death certificates had also been issued. Information on certain deaths was found to have been mentioned twice.
The President said following an in-depth investigation it was revealed that the death toll on June 11 was not 101 but only 15. The President also said that accuracy and timeliness in the provision of data is essential to make the right decisions.
Over four million vaccines have been imported so far. Chairman of the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Dr. Prasanna Gunasena said that at least another four million vaccines are expected in July and accordingly, a higher percentage of people can be vaccinated.
Ministers Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Gamini Lokuge, Bandula Gunawardana, Keheliya Rambukwella, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Prasanna Ranatunga, Rohitha Abeygunawardena, Ramesh Pathirana, Namal Rajapaksa, State Ministers Sudarshini Fernandopulle, Channa Jayasumana, MP Madhura Withanage, Principal Advisor to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Health Secretary Major General (Retired) Specialist Dr. Sanjeewa Munasinghe, Commanders of the three Security Forces and the Heads of the Health Sector were also present at the meeting.