Sunday, September 26, 2021

Sri Lanka ends work-from-home option despite virus surge

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Sri Lanka announced Friday it was ending its work-from-home option for civil servants, ordering all 1.2 million back to the office from Monday despite a surge in coronavirus infections.

The island’s top bureaucrat, P.B. Jayasundera, said there was no need for officials to work from home since “the majority… have been vaccinated”.

The move came even as Sri Lanka recorded a doubling in daily Covid-19 cases to around 2,000 compared to early July, with hospitals struggling to cope.

Government figures show that 9.17 million people, or 43 percent of the population, have had one vaccine dose, and more than two million people have received two shots.

Sri Lanka has recorded at least 4,300 coronavirus deaths and almost 305,000 infections in total, according to official data seen widely as an underestimate.

The new wave of infections is blamed partly on the government having relaxed restrictions on activity in April to allow celebrations for the traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year.

Regulations were tightened in May and eased again earlier this month.

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