COVID-19: Sri Lankan police arrest 177 people in past 24 hours for face mask violations

190427 Sri Lanka police
Sri Lankan police are arresting people who fail to wear face masks and maintain social distancing in public places. Image Credit: AP

Colombo: Sri Lankan police are arresting people who fail to wear face masks and maintain social distancing in public places, as the number of COVID-19 patients rapidly increases due to a new more transmissible variant.

Police have arrested 177 people in the past 24 hours for violating the regulations, police spokesman Ajith Rohana said Monday.

Under quarantine laws, violators can face a fine of LKR 10,000 ($54), six months’ imprisonment or both.

Fast-spreading variant

Health officials have warned that a fast-spreading variant has been detected in Sri Lanka.

For several weeks, the number of confirmed new cases was less than 300 every day, but the figure rose to 793 on Monday.

Sri Lanka has recorded a total of 100,586 cases including 642 fatalities.