COLOMBO, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan authorities on Friday further extended a nationwide quarantine curfew till Sept. 21 to prevent further spread of the COVID-19.
Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the curfew will be lifted at 4:00 a.m. on Sept. 21 after a decision made by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa following a meeting with the COVID-19 Task Force.
Rambukwella said the number of COVID-19 patients in the country was steadily declining and authorities were confident that Sri Lanka would once again be able to reopen without risk.
"Please adhere to the regulations, use this time to get vaccinated, stay home and wear a mask," the health minister said.
Army Commander General Shavendra Silva said President Rajapaksa had instructed authorities to submit a report as to what type of restrictions should be imposed if the quarantine curfew is lifted after Sept. 21.
Sri Lanka was to lift the ongoing quarantine curfew on Sept. 13 but extended it following a recommendation from health experts.
The country is facing a rapid spread of the Delta variant of the virus with 58,656 active patients in the country and 477,636 people contracting the COVID-19 infection since March last year.