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7 COVID-19 cases recovered & discharged

Mar 26 (NR) Ministry of Health says no new COVID19 cases have been reported in the country as of 4:45pm today. Minister Pavithra Devi Wanniarachchi said the number of cases reported in Sri Lanka continues to remain at 102. She said four patients who were receiving treatment for the coronavirus have since recovered and have been discharged. A total of seven persons have thus far recovered from the coronavirus in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 cases climb to 104

Mar 26 (NR) Ministry of Health says 2 more persons have tested positive for the coronavirus in Sri Lanka. In its latest report the Epidemiology Unit said the number of COVID-19 cases has therefore increased to 104. The Epidemiology Unit says 6 of the 104 cases have recovered and have been discharged from hospital. Meanwhile 100 individuals suspected to have contracted the novel coronavirus in the country are under observation at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases. more..

Post offices to open for 2 hrs during non-curfew hours

Mar 26 (AD) The Postmaster General says that all post offices and sub post offices have been instructed to remain open for at least 2 hours a day during non-curfew hours. Issuing a statement, he stated that although maintaining postal operations is difficult at a time when transportation has come to a standstill, the following decisions have been taken on the instructions of Minister Bandula Gunawardena and Secretary to the Ministry of Information and Mass Media: more..

Sri Lanka has to prepare a way forward strategy for a post-Covid19 era: Cabraal

Mar 26 (EN) Sri Lanka has to prepare for post a Covid-19 era, where the way the global economy works would change, Nivard Cabraal, Senior Advisor to the finance minister said. “The SL economy would also have to be re-shaped and restructured to deal with the new global economic order and the challenges that would unfold,” Cabraal said. He said a way forward strategy should be developed after broad consultations. more..

Water supply interrupted in Colombo

Mar 26 (DM) The water supply in several areas in Colombo has been interrupted due to a leak in a pipeline which carries water from Ambatale water plant, the National Water Supply and Drainage Board. Accordingly, the water supply had been interrupted in Colombo 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9,10, 11, 12 and 13. The Water Board said there would be a low pressure water supply in Colombo 4 and 14 as well. They said the water supply would be restored by 10 p.m today. more..

Treasury bill rates plunge to 4-year low

Mar 26 (EN) Sri Lanka’s 12-month Treasury bill rate fell 82 basis points on Wednesday from a week earlier to the lowest since Janu 2016, data showed, while the nation grappled with the coronavirus pandemic. Govt Debt Department sold 12-month bills at 7.5%, lowest since the 7.48% recorded on the week ending Jan 1, 2016. The debt office sold 6-month bills at 7.25% this Wednesday, down 57 basis points from a week earlier, while 3-month bills were sold at 7%, down 27 basis points. more..

Dr. Paba Palihawadana

Former staff sergeant Sunil Ratnayake released on presidential pardon

Mar 26 (DM) Former staff sergeant of the Army, Sunil Ratnayake, who was sentenced to death over the murder of eight Tamil civilians in Mirusuvil, Jaffna in 2000, has been released on a special presidential pardon today. Commissioner General of Prisons Jayasiri Tennakoon said he was released from the Welikada Prison. Sunil Ratnayake was sentenced to death on June 25, 2015 by the Colombo High Court after a 13-year-trial. Five persons including Sunil Ratnayake were accused over the case, more..

UK advises Britons in Sri Lanka to return as Coronavirus trigger airport closures

Mar 26 (EN) UK has asked Britons in Sri Lanka and elsewhere to return in an exceptional travel advisory note, while the home country is also in a worsening Coronavirus crisis. “Flights to Sri Lanka have been suspended since 19 March. If you are visiting Sri Lanka, you are strongly advised to leave now, while commercial means are available,” the UK foreign office said in a warning to Britons. “Speak to your airline or tour company as soon as possible, as it is likely that flight options more..

Sri Lanka to help 18,000 tourists return home in Coronavirus crisis

Mar 26 (EN) SL is ready to help an estimated 18,093 tourists return home either via scheduled flights which are still operating or special charters that are required. Sri Lanka Tourism said, it was working with Foreign Ministry & embassies to arrange facilities for tourists to return. “SL Tourism would facilitate any country to fly out their nationals on holiday or on work here; back to their home country via charter flights on request,” more..

'No Sri Lankan in Italy died of coronavirus'

Mar 26 (AD) Embassy of SL in Rome has confirmed that no Sri Lankan in Italy has succumbed to Coronavirus. It was reported yesterday that a 70-year-old Sri Lankan had died in Messina, harbour city in northeast Sicily. Speculations were rife that this individual died of coronavirus complications. However, Embassy in Rome confirmed that no such death was reported. In the meantime, Ministry of Foreign Relations has stated that Italian hospitals are yet to confirm if Sri Lankans in Italy more..

Jaffna under curfew until further notice

Mar 26 (AD) The govt has decided to extend the curfew imposed on the Jaffna district until further notice, stated President’s Media Division. The curfew in Jaffna will not be lifted tomorrow as previously scheduled. However, the curfew on the other four districts in the Northern Province will be temporarily lifted at 6 am tomorrow and will be re-imposed at 2 pm on the same day. Along with Jaffna, Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara districts are also under curfew until further notice. more..

Sri Lanka in first zero Coronavirus cases day amid curfews to bottle the Covid-19 bug

Mar 26 (EN) Sri Lanka recorded the first zero new Coronavirus case day on March 25, as the country was engaged in an intense battle to bottle the Covid-19 bug, and curfew was tightened to combat the possibility of small clusters in the Western Province of the island. On May 25, SL recorded no new cases, Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said. It is the first zero-new-case day since SL’s Wave II infection phase began more..

Air Force scrambles to build patient isolation ward at IDH

Mar 26 (FT) A team of Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) personnel are working around the clock to build a 16-room patient isolation ward at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (IDH) on a request made by Director Heath Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe. Close to 220 SLAF personnel including nine officers are working in shifts, 24 hours a day, to build the facility at the IDH premises, seen as a top priority as the number of COVID-19 patients grows daily, the Air Force said. more..

CPC, CPSTL join sanitisation efforts to contain spread of COVID-19

Mar 26 (FT) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Limited (CPSTL) have joined efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country, by introducing ethanol-based hand sanitizer at all outlets. The move was brought to the attention of Minister Mahinda Amaraweera during a visit to CPSTL, to observe the distribution of fuel during the curfew period. According to the Minister, one fuel station will remain open in every Police division, more..

GMOA estimates 550 COVID-19 infected persons in Sri Lanka

Mar 26 (FT) The GMOA estimated that there were 550 persons infected with COVID-19 circulating within the population and they had possibly had contact with a total of 19,000 others, while underscoring the importance of adhering strictly to social distancing during non-curfew hours to avoid a rapid increase in the number of persons infected. “Considering Western nations that have been unsuccessful in carrying out social distancing, more..

Tackling COVID-19: Support sought from former MPs

Mar 26 (CT) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa stressed that the Govt will seek the support of all leaders of political parties in the former Parliament to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. He took this decision following a discussion with political party leaders on 24 March at Temple Trees. The PM's Office will meet political party leaders personally in the coming days before taking measures to tackle the spread. Most party leaders expressed their satisfaction with measures taken by Govt to bring the present situation more..

IDH receives 6 much-needed ICU ventilators from Dhammika Perera

Mar 26 (FT) Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH), which has been playing a critical role in the fight against COVID-19, yesterday received six critically necessary and globally scarce ventilators via a philanthropic intervention by business leader Dhammika Perera. Air-freighted and made in Switzerland, the six ventilators and six beds were installed yesterday at the newly set-up Intensive Care Unit at IDH. Much-needed reinforcement at IDH is part of Rs70 m commitment by Perera, more..

Security measures on until 7 April

Mar 26 (CT) Govt has decided to continue the security measures which have been imposed islandwide to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, without any interruption until 7 April. This was decided during a special Cabinet meeting summoned by Prez Rajapaksa, to discuss the current situation of the country following COVID-19. Cabinet agreed that the ongoing curfew could be lifted and re-imposed sporadically, more..

SL cricketers join COVID-19 fight

Mar 26 (FT) National Cricket Team has donated an undisclosed sum of money to the National Hospital, which is to be spent on purchasing much-needed medical equipment as the country combats the COVID-19 pandemic. SLC confirmed that orders had been placed for several video laryngoscopes and equipment that would significantly improve treatment of COVID-19 patients. Laryngoscopy is an endoscopy of the larynx, a part of the throat, and is used to obtain a view, for example, more..

Involvement of middlemen has resulted in price hikes, say consumers

Mar 26 (DN) National Movement for Consumer Protection said that a kilogramme of vegetables bought from farmers for a sum ranging from Rs. 12 to Rs.30 by middlemen at the Keppetipola Economic centre had been allegedly sold for Rs.400 plus in Colombo on Tuesday when the police curfew was lifted for several hours. NMCP urged govt to control the unscrupulous activities of the middlemen and large scale vegetable and fruit sellers trying to make exorbitant profit at the expense of farmers more..

3 Sri Lankan nationals tested positive on their return from India early this month

Mar 26 (Hindu) An Indian is among the nearly 100 COVID-19 positive patients undergoing treatment in Sri Lanka. Three other patients, who are SL nationals, also tested positive on their return from India earlier this month. “All four of them are undergoing treatment and are stable,” Director-General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe said. Indian HC here confirmed that the Indian national had arrived in Colombo on March 12 more..

Professionals and academics urge unified and holistic action by govt to fight COVID-19

Mar 26 (FT) A group of responsible citizens have come together and put forth some practical approaches and strategies to best combat the current COVID-19 crisis in SL. The effort, made a group consisting of academics, economists, sociologists, media, rights activists and legal professionals, has stressed the importance of a holistic national strategy to face this unprecedented calamity. Written to the attention of Prez and PM, letter makes pragmatic recommendations to more..

UN urged to protect Tamil prisoners of war in Sri Lanka: TGTE

Mar 26 (EIN) Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) has urged UN to Protect Tamil Prisoners of War (POW) from Sinhalese prisoners. A letter was sent on this issue by the PM of TGTE Mr. Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran to the UN Resident Coordinator for SL Ms. Hanaa Singer. Letters were also sent to India, US and the Red Cross. Press reports indicate that a number of Sinhalese prisoners have attempted to escape the prison in an effort to protect themselves from the spread more..

No power interruptions, assures govt as demand drops

Mar 26 (FT) Power and Energy Ministry yesterday assured that there would be no interruptions in the supply of power, stating that there had been a drop in demand compared to last week. The current demand is less than 40 GWh per day, with 33 GWh recorded on Tuesday and 39 GWh recorded on Monday. According to Ministry Media Spokesperson Sulakshana Jayawardena, demand was 49 GWh last week. more..

Cabinet nod for President’s COVID-19 relief package

Mar 26 (FT) Cabinet yesterday approved extensive measures proposed by Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa to assist low income families, business and other individuals affected by the outbreak of the coronavirus. Most of the support measures were announced by the Prez on Monday but got formal Cabinet nod yesterday. The proposals include providing low income groups and elders with a weekly bag of essential consumer items through the Samurdhi Authority. more..

Navy rendered assistance to Sathosa for distribution of consumer goods

Mar 26 (SLN) SL Navy today (25) rendered assistance to get ready essential customer goods to be distributed among the general public. The govt is making speedy arrangements to distribute essential customer goods without a fail among the general public even amidst curfew hours following the threat of coronavirus. Accordingly, SL Navy rendered its assistance to get ready the essential items at the Sathosa stores in Enderamulla. Meanwhile, Commander of the Navy, more..

In an ideal scenario: 5,000-6,000 prisoners can be released: Committee

Mar 26 (CT) In the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the committee appointed to make recommendations on the possibility of providing legal redress for prisoners who have been charged with or have committed minor offences, and those unable to meet bail conditions, envisions, in an ideal scenario, the release of 5,000-6,000 prisoners. The committee expressed hope that the entire process, including the release of prisoners, in spite of more..

My return to Sri Lanka

Mar 26 (ET) The traffic is almost as thick as the heat hanging over the streets of Colombo, but I’m just glad to be here, in the passenger seat of a cool, air-conditioned car, sitting next to Uranius Fernando, a tour operator filling in the gaps as a ride-share driver. Having arrived earlier that morning by ship, sitting on my balcony as we cruised in past massive stacks of shipping containers and waving workmen, we docked next to a huge cargo ship. Disembarking, connecting with my big-bearded driver more..

SMEs seek support for next critical months

Mar 26 (DN) Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASMET) is hopeful that the President and govt of SL will act in favor of supporting SME’s through the next few critical months and ensure the long-term viability of this key income earning sector for SL, ASMET said in a press release. “This assistance will ensure that when this crisis passes, we can expect the strong return of SL tourism,” it said. “ASMET would first and foremost like to the President for his decisive actions more..

'Even after whole country asked to stay at home, Prez did not revoke Election Gazette'

Mar 26 (FT) Former MP Mangala Samaraweera criticised Prez Rajapaksa and the present Govt for failing to postpone the upcoming General Election until after nominations had been submitted, calling the nominations process and associated activity a great public health hazard that went ahead despite the rest of the nation being advised to stay at home. He also took the present administration to task for failing to more..

No fishing, transport restrictions for fishermen

Mar 26 (DN) The Ceylon Fisheries Corporation has accelerated the purchasing of fish from fishermen, the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Ministry said, It said a programme to buy fish from the owners of fishing vessels commenced at Dickovita Fisheries Harbour on Tuesday and this would be extended to all other fisheries harbours in the next couple of days. Minister Douglas Devananda visited the harbour to inspect the progress of this project. The release said that Minister would discuss more..

HSBC Sri Lanka offers relief to personal and corporate customers amidst COVID-19

Mar 26 (FT) HSBC, largest international bank in SL, said it is offering a range of relief measures for its personal and corporate customers given the challenges presented by the ongoing novel-Coronavirus pandemic. The bank announced that it will provide these relief measures with immediate effect. This will be further backed by community relief measures to help local healthcare authorities combat the outbreak. HSBC SL remains committed to supporting the community in adversity. more..

Shavendra Silva & Dr. Anil Jasinghe

Political lockdown dampens election heat

Mar 26 (TM) The much-anticipated 2020 general election has been postponed and it is believed that the next date for the election could be pushed back to either late May or early June. However, EC after taking into consideration the situation in the country as well as the handling of Covid-19, is expected to announce its decision on Wednesday (25). Calls were made from all corners of the country calling on the Prez and Govt to announce the postponement of the general election more..

What we do today, will decide our future

Mar 26 (CT) SL is on the threshold of a crippling world health crisis. So far, we have reported a little over 100 cases with three recoveries and two critical cases. A number of countries around the globe, some affluent and with advanced medical facilities, are faltering under the staggering number of cases and deaths. Yet, timely intervention by the authorities, which introduced stringent control criteria as soon as the first few cases were reported from the country, has now been able to more..