What you need to know about midcontaminated drinking water
The government of Sri Lanka has announced plans to clean up its drinking water supply after an outbreak of coronavirus in the country’s northern region, the BBC’s Nadiya Begum reports from Sri Lanka.
Our correspondent says the government has ordered a nationwide cull of 1.6 million people and is expected to make further announcements later on Monday.
The government’s move comes after more than 1,200 people died in a two-day pandemic that spread across the country and killed 1,837 people.
The outbreak began on February 17, when a coronaviruses strain of the coronaviral virus was found in the water supply.
The Government of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said that people should not drink from water fountains and tap water bottles.
“People should wash their hands thoroughly before entering a fountain, tap water bottle or fountain.
People should use bottled water for drinking and not to reuse water bottles,” he said in a statement.
The plan will involve removing the drinking water from water taps, water faucets and faucet systems in the northern regions, and cleaning and disinfecting the water systems.
The BBC’s correspondent Nadiyan Begum says that the government is expected soon to announce a further 1.7 million people will be infected with the virus and will be ordered to hand in their water and drink it.
The move follows a meeting of the government’s Health, Social and Development Committee, which discussed the measures, our correspondent says.
The UK and France have also said they are moving ahead with plans to phase out the use of bottled water.
A total of 790,000 people have tested positive for coronavira in Sri Lanka, according to the latest figures from the country, but there have been no deaths from the virus.
The country has also announced that it will remove a controversial water filtration system in which the water is purified to remove COVID-19 from the water before it is delivered to homes.
More:WHO is warning that water in many parts of the country may be contaminated by COVID, and people in areas affected should be informed.
A number of cities in the north have seen the outbreak hit hardest, with communities in the towns of Lekon, Chikulathu, Lekamalagudi, and Thimphu being hit particularly hard, our correspondents say.
The northern region is home to many small communities, where people often struggle to survive.