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Sri Lanka cancels election rallies over new virus wave

AFP
Colombo
Sri Lanka’s ruling party Sunday called off its rallies ahead of upcoming parliamentary elections and delayed the international airport’s reopening over a surge in virus cases.
The South Asian country of 21 million lifted its coronavirus lockdown in late June after declaring there was no longer any community spread of the virus. But a swathe of cases emerged last week, including an outbreak at a drug rehabilitation centre last week that saw 253 patients test positive in a single night.
“All public meetings where the president and the prime minister were due to attend today, tomorrow and the day after have been cancelled,” President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party said in a statement. Rajapaksa’s brother Mahinda is the country’s prime minister.
The party said all their candidates were also told to call off upcoming public gatherings ahead of the August 5 poll.

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