Sri Lanka looks to lift curfew and open factories

Sri Lanka looks to lift curfew and open factories
20 April 2020

Sri Lanka's Government is considering the easing of the month-long curfew on the island from this week. Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine, Pavithra Waniarchchi, announced that all clusters of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka had been successfully detected and that the government was keen to gradually restart industry to protect the national economy.

Senior Economist and Senior Lecturer at the University of Colombo, Professor HD Karunaratne, said: "We are importing raw material from China and other countries for the main industries in Sri Lanka. For instance, to commence the construction industry we need cement products. Even in apparel, large quantities of raw materials are imported from China and other countries."

However, he emphasised, when starting all these factories and offices, safety precautions should be a top priority. In addition to normal safety precautions introduced, ‘Guidelines on COVID-19 preparedness for workplaces’ issued by Directorate of Environmental, Health, Occupational Health and Food Safety, a division attached to the Ministry of Health, has emphasised several key rules to strictly follow.

All the staff at the time of entrance are subjected to a body temperature check and any person recording a temperature above 37˚C should be sent back home, under these instructions. In addition, washing their hands before entering the workplace, wearing masks on duty, having a foot bath before entering, discouraging workers from using other workers’ mobile phones, pens, common telephones, fax machines, etc.

"I think most of these safety measures are already seen in industrial zones. In some factories, employees usually wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Hence beginning work at industrial zones will not be a huge problem," Professor Karunaratne said.

Published under Cement News

Tagged Under: Sri Lanka coronavirus COVID-19