Sri Lanka has re-imposed an island-wide police curfew, effective from 6:00pm local time on Friday to 6:00am on Monday, as the South Asian country steps up efforts to check the spread of the coronavirus that has infected 65 people there.
South Asia, a densely populated region of some 1.9 billion people, has been less badly affected than other parts of the world, but new coronavirus cases in Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka are all accelerating, with the total across the region now exceeding 750, reports Reuters.
Seven people have died. Authorities worry that these countries could be especially at risk, should the virus begin to spread locally, due to poor health facilities and infrastructure in much of the region.
The virus has already infected more than 245,000 people worldwide, and led to over 10,000 deaths.
Earlier, a police curfew was imposed by Sri Lanka in the Puttalam, Chilaw and Negombo police divisions and Ja-Ela and Wattala areas in order to restrict the movement of the people to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Only public transport and essential services are permitted to pass through the curfew areas. Passengers travelling to the Katunayake airport can use the air ticket as a permit to travel during the curfew.