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Sri Lanka Extends Reopening of Schools by a Week After Spike in Coronavirus Cases: Report

Sri Lankan government soldiers in protective clothes spray disinfectants in Colombo. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

Sri Lankan government soldiers in protective clothes spray disinfectants in Colombo. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

The decision was taken after students from selected grades did not attend the school in view of a threat from the sudden COVID-19 cases spike reported from the North and Central region.

Sri Lanka has extended by a week the current school closure to ensure the well-being of students amidst the coronavirus pandemic that has infected nearly 2,700 people, an official statement said on Saturday.

The decision was taken after students from selected grades, who were asked to return to school on July 6 after the lockdown of over three months, did not attend the school in view of a threat from the sudden COVID-19 cases spike reported from the North and Central region.

“The Director General of Health Services remains confident that there is no possibility for the social transmission of COVID-19. However, since over 200 school children and teachers are under quarantine in five districts and three students are among the infected, it was important to shut the schools for a further week,” the statement said.

Before the latest spike, the ministry had announced a phased programme to re-open schools after they had been shut on March 20.

The health authorities said the latest spike has been curbed and there was no need for a further lockdown as feared.

Sri Lanka’s parliamentary election scheduled for August 5 is also to go ahead with the application of health guidelines both on campaigning and on the day of the polls.

The pandemic had already formed a change to the election procedure.

For the first time in the island’s electoral history the counting of votes would start on the following morning, the Election Commission has announced.

Sri Lanka has so far reported 2,697 cases of coronavirus and 11 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.