Sri Lanka’s President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, has ordered Governors and District Secretaries to maintain operations in factories and developments projects despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Sri Lanka’s military has faced criticism for its heavy-handed approach which has been seen to exacerbate ethnic divides. Last October the military was accused of abusing factory workers, in a Brandix garment factory, who were forced into quarantine centres by the military.
An estimated 1,656 people have died in Sri Lanka from the coronavirus with the country’s infection rate being reported higher than India’s on a population basis.
Rajapaksa is reportedly exploring means of continuing operations in factories and development projects uninterrupted in cases where an infected person is detected on the premises. He is further reported to have noted the need to ensure that the agrarian economy does not collapse.
This statement follows a recent World Bank report which detailed the devastating impact the coronavirus has had on the economy; with the country experiencing its worst growth rate on record, contracting 3.6 per cent throughout 2020, with a massive 16.4 per cent contraction in the second quarter alone.
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