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'Our healthcare system is equipped to handle the coronavirus outbreak'

Mar 29 (SO) Former UPFA MP Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle said our healthcare system is well equipped to handle the coronavirus outbreak, pointing out that we formed Presidential Task Force way back in January when the first corona case was reported in China in early January. Therefore, the relevant authorities have been given the necessary instructions to combat the coronavirus pandemic, she said. more..

You reap what you sow: Dedicated to, for those who anticipate marvels from judiciary

Mar 29 (CT) The history of mankind has always set finer examples how men of those years have successfully reacted to turbulent times, again and again. Either it may be pandemic, war, natural disaster or in any other dire straits people have lived so far. If historians’ reports are correct, Mohenjo-daro was boomed in Indu Valley Civilization after catastrophic flood of Indus River which inundated the most parts of Harappa city bringing an end to that colonization. more..

War against an unseen enemy –120nm in diameter

Mar 29 (ST) It was unbecoming of the Presidential Media Unit to put the blame on the general public for what happened last Tuesday morning when the locked-down or locked-up citizenry besieged supermarkets, wholesale markets, grocery stores and pharmacies. It was not a pleasant exercise to spring on the public. What happened, and not for the first time after the coronavirus or COVID-19 crisis broke out was the absolute antithesis of what health experts had advised day and night all week more..

What's happening with COVID-19?: Live updates here

Mar 29 (Roar) Saturday, March 28: 20:30 Three more COVID 19 infected persons identified within Sri Lanka, bringing the total number of those currently infected to 103. 20:08 The first death from COVID 19 in Sri Lanka was just reported - the deceased a 60-year-old from Marawila who was being treated at the ICU of the IDH. Health DG Dr Anil Jasinghe said the deceased had undergone a kidney transplant several years ago, more..

Let us get rid of COVID-19 together!

Mar 29 (ST) My dear citizens of Paradise, I thought of writing to you because these are unprecedented times which we have never seen before, even though this land of ours has seen many, many disasters both man-made and natural. While we have overcome most of those calamities, this might be our most challenging test as yet. It is ironic that this crisis comes not from a tsunami, insurrection, a terrorist attack or even a group of fanatical suicide bombers. more..

Why did Gota pardon Sunil Ratnayake?

Mar 29 (CT) Many of Gota’s actions in the use of state power (except containment of the coronavirus) are wrong. But I understand them in the sense that I know why he did so. Placing the CID unit handling political crimes under the military and taking away files relating to the murder of Lasantha, Ekneligoda, Thajudeen and the Trinco students is a coverup but everybody knows why this was done. It was to shield members of the Royal Family, or high officers or for fear the finger of suspicion will point more..

Video: SL confirms first COVID-19 death

Mar 28 (AD) First COVID-19 death in SL has been reported from IDH earlier this evening. Reportedly, the deceased 60-year-old male is a resident of the Marawila area. The patient had suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure, according to Director-General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe. Further, he had undergone a kidney transplant several years ago. Total confirmed in SL has gone up to 113. more..

First COVID-19 case in the Central Province

Mar 28 (NR) The first coronavirus case in the Central Province has been identified. The Central Province Health Director Dr. Arjuna Thilakaratne speaking at a media briefing today said the individual, a resident of Akurana, arrived in the island from India. He is presently under treatment at the Kandy National Hospital. The Director noted that information of persons who the individual associated with are presently being gathered in order to direct them to be quarantined. more..

PM asks Covid-19 food delivery blocks to be cleared amid permit raj

Mar 28 (EN) PM Rajapaksa has asked police to remove impediments for food transport amid a Covid-19 curfew as they faced difficulties. “Curfew has to be strictly enforced but please give the necessary permission for vegetables, fruits and coconuts have to reach the economic centres,” PM said. “It has come to the notice of the PM that there had been impediments to the transport of goods.” SL attempted centralized control of food distribution and a requirement for permits was imposed more..

Covid19 - විශේෂ වැඩසටහන

Several hotlines to address public grievances during Covid-19 outbreak

Mar 28 (AD) An accelerated grievance redressal mechanism has been established to address issues of the general public in the wake of the emergency situation that prevails due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country. This mechanism is being operated by the Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Govt. The objective of this mechanism is to maintain normalcy in the day-to-day lives of people and to avoid the practical difficulties that arise at more..

SriLankan Airlines fighting Coronavirus battle with 95% fleet grounded

Mar 28 (EN) As airlines around the world are halting operations and airports are closing due to a Coronavirus pandemic SriLankan Airlines is one of the few carriers that is serving Colombo, taking passengers out and bringing in vital supplies. “We have funds to operate for the next 3 to 4 months,” Chairman Ashok Pathirage said. “Our stakeholder has committed to support us. We have effected cost cutting measures and we are managing with bare minimum costs to pass through this difficult more..

Prisoners’ rights group to legally challenge Presidential pardon

Mar 28 (FT) The Committee for Protecting Rights of Prisoners (CPRP) said it would challenge the President’s decision to release a convicted murderer by way of a Presidential pardon in the Supreme Court and said such actions called into question the manner in which 34 (1) of the Constitution was being used by an individual arbitrarily without proper review. CPRP Chairman Attorney-at- Law Senaka Perera said the ad hoc manner in which more..

Video: Atalugama coronavirus patient’s father & sister hospitalized

Mar 28 (AD) The father and the sister of a patient, who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) from Atalugama village in Bandaragama, have been hospitalized after developing suspicious symptoms, says Ada Derana reporter. They have been admitted to the General Hospital Nagoda in Kalutara. As four persons from Atalugama had tested positive for the virus, the authorities took measures to isolate the entire village and put it under quarantine. The village is currently under the observation more..

Central Bank to re-fiance Rs50bn in Coronavirus loans

Mar 28 (EN) Sri Lanka will provide central bank re-finance up to 50 billion rupees for businesses hit by Coronavirus through a re-finance facility, the monetary authority said with the rupee peg wt the US dollar already under pressure. SL halted re-finance through pure central bank credit (printed money) in the mid 1990s as part of monetary reforms. Central bank re-finance of rural credit and central bank purchases of Treasury bills were blamed for monetary instability of the 1980s more..

Islandwide roadblocks to be increased to 900

Mar 28 (NR) Police have taken steps to install another 300 roadblocks around the Island with the aim of upholding ongoing curfew. Accordingly DIG Ajith Rohana said the existing number of 600 roadblocks in place across the country will be increased to 900. Meanwhile the Commander of Army Lt Gen Shavendra Silva said Tri-Forces personnel will also be deployed on roadblock duty from today onward. more..

Sri Lanka collecting info on students in South India amid COVID-19 outbreak

Mar 28 (EN) SL Deputy High Commission in Chennai announced earlier today that it is in the process of compiling details of SL students in South India and is working on ensuring their safety and welfare amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Out of some 600 Sri Lankan students in India, 191 in the southern states have registered with the mission, the Deputy High commission said. “SL Deputy High Commission is in touch with the students and respective institutions to ensure their welfare more..

Co-chairman appointed to Presidential Task Force on poverty alleviation

Mar 28 (AD) Major General (Retired) Sumedha Perera has been appointed the Co-Chairman of the Presidential Task Force for Poverty Eradication and Livelihood Development. He is expected to administer the functions with regard to the agriculture sector. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed a 12-member Task Force for Poverty Eradication and Livelihood Development in January this year. The Committee, chaired by Retired Deputy Secretary to the Treasury S.B. Divarathne, more..

Video: Another group of quarantined persons leave for homes

Mar 28 (AD) Another group of nearly 300 individuals who successfully completed the 14-day quarantine process is scheduled to leave for their homes today, says the Commander of SL Army Lt Gen Shavendra Silva. As per the medical advice, they were instructed to engage in home and self-quarantine for two more weeks, the Army Chief said further in a video statement. He added that a total of 2,871 persons are still being quarantined more..

Two more COVID-19 patients recover; Positive cases tally drops to 97

Mar 28 (AD) Two more coronavirus patients have recovered and discharged from the hospital. Accordingly, nine coronavirus patients who tested positive for the virus have made a complete recovery so far. As per the situation report issued by the Health Ministry earlier this morning, the last confirmed patient was identified on Thursday (26). A total of 106 coronavirus-infected persons was been diagnosed in Sri Lanka so far, however, with the recovery of these nine COVID-19 patients, more..

Total of 5,185 arrested for violating curfew orders

Mar 28 (AD) Another 1,167 individuals have been arrested within the last 24 hours for violating curfew orders, Police Media Division stated. Accordingly, a total number of 5,185 has been taken into custody since the curfew was re-imposed at 6.00 p.m. on Friday (20). In the meantime, over 1,000 vehicles including motorcycles and three-wheelers were also seized along with the arrestees. Police have warned of strict legal action against the people who violate a countrywide curfew. more..

Sri Lanka village in Covid-18 lockdown as zero Coronavirus cases reported for 2nd day

Mar 28 (EN) Sri Lanka has locked down a village South of the capital Colombo after a confirmed Coronavirus patient was found who had contacts with at least 26 persons, while nationwide curfews continue to combat the spread of Covid-19. Sri Lanka recorded the second day with no new infections on March 27, since Sri Lanka’s Second Wave infections started with infections from Italy. SL has so far confirmed 106 cases, more..

Medicines for clinic patients at govt hospitals to be home-delivered during curfew

Mar 28 (AD) Ministry of Health and Postal Department have jointly arranged a programme to distribute medicine for those who are getting treatment from govt hospitals and have not enough medicine for their daily use. The correct name, address, clinic number and telephone number are essential to distribute medicine to the doorstep of the patient, Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe said. Hence, clinic patients are requested to contact the hospital they are more..

Robot to assist treatment of suspected Covid patients

Mar 28 (DM) The treatment of two suspected Covid-19 patients at the Homagama Base Hospital will be carried out with the assistance of a robot, Hospital Director Dr. Janith Hettiarachchi said. The robot which had been provided by the Atlas group of companies is reportedly capable of completing daily tasks efficiently which would otherwise require the manpower of at least 100 humans. The robot is capable of travelling from ward to ward, communicating the patient's health condition more..

'Preventing spread of COVID-19: Public complicating process'

Mar 28 (CT) Health Services Director-General, Dr. Anil Jasinghe, says that after the public had begun to converge onto the roads yesterday morning for travelling purposes, all sacrifices made by health officers, since early this month, to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic here, had got complicated. He stated that, unlike never seen before, when the curfew had been imposed, many vehicles were on the road. more..

Can SL survive a Cassandra Crossing?

Mar 28 (DM) The present COVID-19 pandemic affecting SL among other countries draws parallels with the disaster thriller made in 1976 titled The Cassandra Crossing. What’s intriguing is that both the present plague and the condition that affected commuters in the train, featured in the George Pan Cosmatos directed film, deal with a condition called pneumonia. And like present efforts by world medics underscoring the need for a quarantine process, this is what helps save those not affected by more..

Addressing a national crisis

Mar 28 (Island) Given below is the Gazette notification dissolving Parliament, the dates for nominations, the date on which Elections to Parliament are to be held and the date on which the new Parliament is to be summoned. KNOW YE that by virtue of the powers vested in me by Article 70 of the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to be read with Sub-paragraph (c) of Paragraph (2) of Article 33 of the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka more..

Sri Lanka makes helicopter drops of new money despite soft-peg

Mar 28 (EN) Central Bank has made large helicopter drop style liquidity injections, despite the lack of a freely floating exchange rate regime, data shows, leading to a loss of credibility in the soft-peg with the US dollar. As credibility of the peg was weakened the central bank slapped import controls but no effort was made to withdraw liquidity. Sri Lanka had monetary stability up to Jan 2020, despite foreign selling in rupee bonds, more..

Just a glimmer of silver in the terrible black cloud blanketing our island

Mar 28 (Island) We are locked down, shut in, house bound and don’t even visit a neighbour. Good thing too as this complete isolation of families, if not persons, is the only solution to this most virulent disaster that has overpowered the entire world, to varying levels of severity. This week too Cassandra has good to say; praise to offer those who deserve praise. Her prying eye and malicious tongue have lost their vigilance and virulence. She continues to praise the powers that be who are directing more..

Editorial: Learn from America’s plight

Mar 28 (Island) The US spends trillions of dollars on space exploration, the manufacture of lethal weapons and regime change projects, in other countries, which are not within the sphere of its influence. It has the world’s biggest military budget, which amounts to about 700 billion. But it cannot provide its people with adequate healthcare facilities! The US has overtaken China and Italy with the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases (about 83,000) and over 1,000 deaths. more..


Postponement leaves the polls open?

Mar 28 (CT) The inevitable postponement of Parliamentary Elections may have left the poll issue open. The pandemic, its handling by the Govt, and the Opposition's approach to appreciating the incumbent's inherent difficulties in the matter, all could well become the talking point in street corner conversations and also TV talk shows, once coronavirus is behind the Nation. In postponing the elections, scheduled for 25 April, the Elections Commission acted on the virusthreat, more..

COVID-19: Why next 14 days are key for SL

Mar 28 (FT) In 2004 when I was heading the SL Export Development Board (EDB), just two days into my appointment, the most devastating natural disaster struck Sri Lanka – the 2004 tsunami where the country lost 40,000 people. However, Sri Lanka recovered to end the next year at $ 6 billion in export proceeds. Then in 2008, when the US property bubble burst and most economies were crashing (incidentally, I was heading the Economic Council – NCED under the Chairmanship of Dr. P.B. more..

Flattening the curve needs well-networked local interventions

Mar 28 (CT) One of the best explanations on COVID-19 I heard was by Dr. Sumedha Jayasena, a Sri Lanka bio-technologist resident in California. His explanation was scientific and covered all aspects of the virus. He explained what flattening the curve actually meant. The curve is a graph that explains the pattern of the virus spread, and has three phases – containment, expansion and declining or clearance phase. more..

Life in lockdown land: Aluth and Parana Parlimenthu

Mar 28 (FT) Our Parliament stands dissolved. The elections for a new Parliament have been put off. The President dissolved Parliament a few weeks after he set up the national task force to counter the coronavirus threat. In the lockdown mode, my access to archival information is limited. So, I am not sure if the dissolution order was before or after the WHO declared it a pandemic. I am also not sure of the legal implications of the President’s ability to reconvene the dissolved Parliament more..

Covid-19 deaths: Understanding the question of cremation or burial

Mar 28 (CT) Triple tragedy! Not being able to be close to your loved one at the time of his/her death. The death itself. Then, the undignified send off. These are the after-effects of a Covid-19 death. It is a deeply painful experience for the loved ones which no word dares to express. A feeling that will keep on upsetting you, renewing the grief each time and this will continue for quite some time after the loss. All of us are destined to die and die only once. Funerals are, therefore, unique as more..