At least one prisoner died this Saturday and four others were wounded in a Sri Lankan jail after a riot, which erupted out of fear of the spread of the coronavirus in a country that now has 77 positive cases.
Sri Lankan Police said in a statement that a group of inmates at Anuradhapura prison, in the north-central part of the island, launched a protest and perched on the roof of the building.
Prison guards responded by shooting at escape attempts by some of them, according to the police version. Members of the Police and special forces have been deployed to the prison, where there was also a fire.
“This morning, the prisoners panicked when the news spread that one of the inmates had contracted COVID-19,” the president of the Committee for the Protection of Prisoners’ Rights, attorney Senaka Perera, told Efe.
Sri Lanka saw the number of positive cases of coronavirus increase to 77, in a day in which the country tightened the curfew that began yesterday and that was initially going to end next Monday.
The press department of the Sri Lankan president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, reported on Saturday that the restrictions have been extended until 6:00 on Tuesday (0.00 GMT).
In Colombo, Gampaha and Puttalam, however, the curfew will be lifted for a few hours on Tuesday and will continue indefinitely thereafter.
This week, the Sri Lankan government closed all its airports to commercial passenger flight traffic, originating in any other country, in order to prevent the entry of tourists.
The measures are a serious blow to the tourism sector of this Indian country, which was just beginning to recover from the jihadist attacks on Easter Sunday that, in April 2019, left 269 dead, including several foreign tourists.
Also due to the coronavirus, Sri Lanka decided to postpone the parliamentary elections scheduled for April 25.