Sri Lanka has suspended sales of fuel for non-essential vehicles as it faces its worst economic crisis in decades.
For the next two weeks only buses, trains, and vehicles used for medical services and transporting food will be allowed to fill up with fuel. Schools in urban areas have shut and officials have told the country’s residents to work from home.
On Monday, the government said it will ban private vehicles from buying petrol and diesel until 10 July.
Without enough foreign currencies to pay for imports of essential goods, an acute shortage of food, fuel and medicines has helped to push the cost of living to record highs.
Over the weekend, officials said the country had only 9,000 tonnes of diesel and 6,000 tonnes of petrol to fuel essential services in the coming days. It has been estimated that the stocks would last for less than a week, under regular demand.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said earlier this month that the country needed at least $5 billion over the next six months to pay for essential goods such as food, fuel and fertiliser.