Sri Lanka to impose national curfew as South Asia accelerates coronavirus battle

Kashmir Times. Dated: 3/21/2020 11:37:03 AM

Colombo/Lucknow, Mar 20 (Agencies): Mosques in Sri Lanka were shut indefinitely from Friday, and the island is set to impose a countrywide curfew over the weekend, as South Asian countries step up efforts to check the spread of COVID-19 cases.
The 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 South Asia now exceeding 750. 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.
A police curfew is set to be imposed nationwide in Sri Lanka from 6 p.m. local time on Friday until 6 a.m. on Monday, as authorities on the island moved to slow the spread of the virus, which has infected 65 people there.
The religious body that oversees mosques in the nation directed all of them to shut indefinitely. About 10% of the country`s 22 million people are Muslims. Meanwhile, mosques elsewhere in the region screened people for high temperatures using thermometers and urged their faithful to practice greater social distancing during Friday prayers.



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