Sri Lanka makes wearing face masks mandatory

Sri Lanka has made it mandatory for people to wear face masks following a sudden spike of COVID-19 cases from a cluster in a drug rehabilitation centre, Army Commander Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva said.

Silva, who also heads the National Operation Center for Prevention of COVID-19 outbreak, said on Thursday that following the detection of the cluster in Kandakadu, the coming days would be crucial in the fight against the virus as whatever the wave is, will come from within the society.

The island nation has in recent days recorded a majority of the patients from the Kandakadu cluster, Health Ministry officials said.

The Ministry said that the sudden spike in the number of cases was because of the rehab centre which has now become a cluster with over 300 inmates and three counsellors testing positive last week.

It added the situation was well under control but the number of patients could rise in the coming days.

The total number of cases in Sri Lanka currently stands 2,686, while the death toll is 11.