23.05.2021, 13:57

Sri Lanka's death toll from COVID-19 reaches 1,133 after highest single day deaths

Sri Lanka's death toll from COVID-19 reaches 1,133 after highest single day deaths

Members of special forces motorcycle teams stop vehicles for checking in Colombo, Sri Lanka, May 22, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)   

Sri Lanka's total death toll from the COVID-19 virus reached 1,133 on Saturday after the country recorded its highest single-day death toll of 44 deaths the previous day, statistics from the Health Ministry showed.

According to health officials, Sri Lanka has witnessed a high number of deaths from the virus in recent weeks due to a rapid spread of a new variant of the virus which has left hospitals and intensive care units filled to its capacity.

The new variant has now become airborne with health authorities urging people to remain indoors as much as possible and to wear masks when leaving homes.

As over 50,000 people have been infected with the virus within the past one month alone, Sri Lankan authorities on Friday imposed an islandwide travel restriction, similar to a curfew, to prevent a further spread of the virus.

Army Commander and Head of the National Operations Center for the Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak, General Shavendra Silva said only essential workers, medical workers, food trucks, pharmacies and food deliveries would be able to operate. The travel restriction will be lifted on May 25 at 4 am but will be imposed again on May 25 at 11 pm and will be lifted on May 28 at 4 am.

Police said over 20,000 police officers had been deployed on the road during the travel restriction to ensure people remain indoors.

According to statistics from the Health Ministry, Sri Lanka has to date recorded 158,333 COVID-19 infected patients since the first local patient was detected in March last year, while presently the active patient count is 32,973.