The Ministry of Trade has requested the import and export process and public exchange to continue, regardless of shops being allowed to close owing to the prevalent coronavirus situation.
Speaking to media, Minister of Trade Bandula Gunawardana said if the import and export process and public exchange is suspended, people could die of starvation.
Minister Gunawardana said vendors can close shops at their own discretion due to the COVID-situation adding however the distribution of goods in Pettah will not be suspended under any circumstance in order to maintain essential services.
The Minister said foreign exchange is required in order to import medicine and crude oil.
He said there is an increase in prices of sugar, dhal and potatoes adding however the prices could reduce if products are available locally.
Minister Gunawardana said he hopes to provide a relief package, free of charge, through Lanka Sathosa outlets from next Thursday adding it will be delivered to homes.
The Minister assured the Police or other authorities will not force shops to open.