Latest World News: Sri Lanka borders will now be closed for the next ten days starting from May 21st, said by the Civil Aviation Authority as the country recorded a single day highest of 3,051 cases.
With the country recording over 2000+ cases every day for the last week, the government is considering to impose more and more travel restrictions and lockdowns. In the first wave, the country experienced one of the lowest death tolls in the region which has now reached a high of 1,015 deaths on Tuesday. Sri Lanka is home to 21 million people.
According to data from the country’s Health Promotion Bureau, the country has recorded only 1,50,000 cases since last year out of which 30,000 are active cases. The decision to bar travelers from foreign countries is now affecting the government’s efforts to revive its tourism sector from January which has seen a fall in numbers since the global pandemic hit.
Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority reported that over 4000 tourists visited Sri Lanka on April 2021, with Indians topping the list. However, as India’s second wave started a deadly campaign, the government completely barred Indian travelers soon after situation in India got worse.
Beginning from January this year, Sri Lanka rolled out its own vaccination program in phases with Covishield vaccines from India, Sputnik vaccines from Russia and Sinopharm vaccines from China. India donated 5,00,000 vaccines to Sri Lanka, with Sri Lanka itself placing more orders with SII. But as demand for vaccines are high within India, the orders are now delayed.
Additionally, China as well promised to offer another 5,00,000 doses of its own Sinopharm vaccines to Sri Lanka to build the “Great Wall of Vaccines”. In Sri Lanka the responsibility to manage the pandemic rests with military and health authorities of the nation.