Sri Lanka police beat coronavirus fear with music


Colombo: Police in Sri Lanka were using music to help people in coronavirus-hit areas to stay calm and beat the health scare amid the rising number of cases in the island-nation.

On Wednesday evening, the eerie silence in Maradana, a densely-populated neighbourhood in Colombo, was broken by the sound of music.

The area has been under lockdown since April 1 when a resident was found to have contracted the infection.

The police band mounted on an open flatbed truck for a makeshift stage sang two songs to cheer up the Maradana residents who came out on their balconies to watch the live performance.

One of the songs the police band played is popular ballad “Hela Jathika Abhimane…” describing the strength and resilience of Sri Lanka as a nation. The other was a popular Tamil song.

Hundreds of people from the area were taken to quarantine and hundreds of other families were asked to self-isolate.

Military spokesperson Brigadier Chandana Wickramasinghe told Efe news that street musical programs were among several other measures taken by the government to tackle the COVID-19 situation in the country.

“Sri Lankan army has enough manpower and they are very talented too. They can play classical and western music, and depending on the area we deploy the bands,” he said.

He said live music programs were organized in two areas in Colombo where most of the coronaviruscases have been reported.

“This program was initiated to help people relax during this stressful time,” Wickremasinghe said.

He said people living in the areas with high-rise buildings have had very limited movements in last few days.

“People in these areas are living inside small rooms for weeks now. We wanted to help them get away from the stress.”

The island-nation has so far recorded nearly 190 coronavirus cases and seven deaths.(IANS)