Sri Lanka ends Covid-19 lockdown, people in economic distress

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Sri Lanka on Friday lifted the islandwide lockdown imposed 40 days ago to control the spread of Covid-19 but allowed only essential travel.   

Sri Lanka has reported more than 516,000 Covid-19 infections and 12,847 deaths. Meanwhile, AFP reported that official figures show nearly 13,000 deaths, with more than half a million infections, but experts say the actual numbers could be at least twice as much.

People in war-affected regions are severely affected due to the spike in prices of essential items

People are only allowed out for work or to buy essentials. Public gatherings are banned while cinemas, schools and restaurants will still be closed, according to the health ministry. The government also imposed strict rules on public transport, weddings and funerals.

The lifting of the lockdown is hoped to boost tourism and ease a decline in foreign exchange that had led to a shortage of essential items such as milk powder, sugar and cooking gas. Long lines formed outside shops in the capital Colombo and its suburbs as people rushed to buy milk powder, AP reported. 

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