COLOMBO, SRI LANKA – Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, joined the ranks of the many nations battling the deadly coronavirus on January 26th, when the first COVID-19 case was officially reported.
The 25,000 square mile island in the Indian Ocean, just off the southern tip of India, is home to approximately 21.6 million people—whom their government is urgently attempting to protect.
Long-renowned for its production of tea, cinnamon, and rubber, globalization has transformed much of Sri Lanka by introducing textile manufacturing, telecommunications, and tourism.
The majority of residents (70%) practice Buddhism. Another 12.6% follow the traditions of Hinduism. Approximately 7.4% of the population is self-identified as Christian. Gospel for Asia (GFA World) supports indigenous Sri Lankans who are devoted to sharing the love of Jesus by serving as loving examples among their people.
Several churches on the island are pastored by Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported workers. Those churches are asking for prayer as they and the nation of Sri Lanka have come face-to-face with the Coronavirus.
The people of Sri Lanka were “immune” to the pandemic until January 26th, when the first case of the virus on the island was officially reported.
Communiques from Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported workers in Sri Lanka have reported that, as of March 28th, there were 109 cases of COVID-19 in the country. Approximately 240 patients were under “strict medical care” in 21 hospitals, and another 1,536 people were being monitored in quarantine centers throughout the country.
Except for a brief six-hour suspension, the entire country has been under a curfew administered by the Sri Lankan military.
Communiques from Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported workers in Sri Lanka have reported that, as of March 28th, more than 5,000 curfew violators were “in police custody and will be prosecuted under maximum penalty as this is a time of national crisis.”
Media sources report that a Police Special Task Force has set up roadblocks on all 16 entry points into the capital city of Colombo. Every person and vehicle will be inspected and checked before they are allowed into the city. The curfews and roadblocks will remain in place until further notice.
Travel between any of the country’s 25 districts is prohibited.
As of 12:0pm CST on April11th, according to Worldometer, Sri Lanka is reporting:
- 198 active cases
- 59 patients who have completely recovered
- 5 people who are in serious or critical condition
- 7 deaths
Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported workers serving the people of Sri Lanka are asking for prayer as they and the nation of Sri Lanka contend against the coronavirus.
Please pray Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported pastors and congregations will demonstrate the peace the passes understanding during this crisis and will bless their communities through their example. Pray for Sri Lanka as a whole, for wisdom for the government authorities and for protection from COVID-19.
- Worldometers, Coronavirus by Countries
- NDTV, Sri Lanka Reports First Death Due To Coronavirus
- Sri Lanka Internet Newspaper, Roadblocks set up in Sri Lankan capital Colombo to prevent spread of COVID-19
- Wikipedia, Sri Lanka