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Video: Another batch of 201 sent home after quarantine

Mar 25 (AD) Another batch of people who had been at the quarantine centers will be released from the quarantine process today (25). 201 people will be leaving the quarantine centers today. Accordingly, 57 persons from the Punani quarantine center and 144 from the Kandakadu quarantine center are set to be sent home. The first batch of 311 persons went home yesterday (24) after completing the 14-day quarantine process. more..

Sri Lankan man in Italy found dead

Mar 25 (DM) A 70-year-old Sri Lankan man in Messina, Italy, has been found dead inside his residence, the Foreign Relations Ministry said today. However, a ministry spokesperson said the cause of the death was not yet known and that the Ministry was in contact with the SL Missions in Italy to ascertain the cause of death. Meanwhile, the Ministry denied reports of a group of Sri Lankans in Italy testing positive for COVID-19 and said that they were in self-quarantine. more..

Sri Lanka Airlines, Colombo airport running lonely South Asia hub in Coronavirus battle

Mar 25 (EN) Sri Lanka’s Colombo airport is serving daily and weekly flights facilitating international transit passengers and export-import cargo of the last remaining global hubs amid a Coronavirus pandemic as airports are closed, transit is banned and carriers grounded across the world. Sri Lanka stopped all inbound travelers on March 19, but is permitting outbound travelers, cargo, humanitarian and emergency landings fulfilling as the key South Asian aviation hub. more..

COVID-19 Special Report

Britain's Prince Charles tests positive for Covid-19

Mar 25 (AFP) Prince Charles, the eldest son and heir to Queen Elizabeth II, is showing mild symptoms of Covid-19 but "otherwise remains in good health", his office said on Wednesday (25). The 71-year-old and his wife Camilla - who does not have Covid-19 - are currently self-isolating in Scotland, Clarence House said. "The Prince of Wales has tested positive for Covid-19," it said in a statement, using his official title. "He has been displaying mild symptoms but otherwise more..

Veteran film producer Tissa Nagodavithana passes away

Mar 25 (AD) Veteran film producer Tissa Nagodavithana has passed away at the age of 78, according to family sources. He was receiving treatment at a private hospital when he passed away this evening. In 1984, Nagodavithana directed and produced the famous movie Kekille Rajjuruwo. He also directed the popular movie Kolamkarayo which was released in 1981. He later became a prominent figure in the SL film industry due to the preservation of many old Sri Lankan films. more..

Video: Political party reps endorse a national programme to fight Covid-19

Mar 25 (AD) Many political party representatives have expressed their support for a national programme to prevent the spread of coronavirus, instead of convening a Parliament session. A meeting to discuss the current situation prevailing in the island, prompted by the Coronavirus outbreak was worked off under the patronage of PM Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Temples Trees this morning (24). more..

Maldives rescue flight to evacuate citizens from Sri Lanka amid Coronavirus

Mar 25 (EN) Maldives is sending an aircraft to Sri Lanka to evacuates its citizens in the island as a Coronavirus pandemic is sweeping the world. Sri Lanka’s main airport is not permitting inbound passengers but is open for cargo and outgoing passengers until March 23. The Island Aviation flight is due to arrive in Colombo on March 25 and leave at 1420 with Maldivian living in Sri Lanka. Many Maldivians live in Sri Lanka for business and also to educate their children, while others visit. more..

Navy carries out Sterilization progammes at KDU and Kalubowila hospitals

Mar 25 (SLN) As a measure of controlling the spreading of new coronavirus in the country, SL Navy conducted a sterilization programme at Medical Faculty hospital in Kotalawala Defence Uni (KDU) and Teaching Hospital-Kalubowila, today (24). Navy is conducting lot of sterilization programmes in the public places. Accordingly, Medical Faculty hospital in KDU and Teaching Hospital-Kalubowila premises were sterilized by the Chemical Biological Radiological and and Nuclear (CBRN) Unit more..

Shopping scramble: Govt needs to rethink rules, say retail experts

Mar 25 (FT) Yesterday’s scramble to buy essentials, with long queues forming in humid weather, has prompted experts to urge the Govt to rethink how it balances COVID-19 countermeasures with normality for citizens. Despite knowing in advance that the imposition of curfew at 12 noon yesterday was not practical, Govt went ahead, only to postpone curfew until 2 pm. The extension came too late, with thousands of people queueing more..

Most of our proposals implemented: GMOA

Mar 25 (DN) The majority of proposals presented by GMOA to prevent COVID-19 had been implemented by Prez Rajapaksa and Govt authorities and as a result COVID-19 has been controlled in SL to the current level, GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said. He said that more proposals to prevent further spread of COVID-19 have already been presented to the Govt. According to Dr. Aluthge, decision making should not be delayed and taking prompt decisions immediately is required to control more..

Grocery shopping in the time of corona

Mar 25 (EN) Two conflicting narratives emerged out of the apocalyptic grocery shopping spree this morning: One was of discipline and orderliness, with mile-long queues of shoppers patiently awaiting their turn at the supermarket, and the other was a horror story (though ironically less dystopian) that spat in the face of those time-honoured petite bourgeoisie values. As the COVID-19 curfew was temporarily lifted at 6am today – with a window of eight hours at first, then hurriedly revised to six hours, more..

Coronavirus: India enters total lockdown after spike in cases

Mar 25 (BBC) India's PM Narendra Modi has imposed a nationwide lockdown in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The restrictions came into force at midnight local time and will be enforced for 21 days. "There will be a total ban on venturing out of your homes," Mr Modi said in a televised address. He appealed for people not to panic - but crowds quickly mobbed stores in the capital, Delhi, and other cities. more..

Navy conducts sterilization programme at religious places and residences in Jaffna

Mar 25 (SLN) As a measure to prevent the spread of new coronavirus in the country, the Navy conducted a sterilization programme in religious places and residences in Chunnakam, Jaffna Peninsula on 23rd March. A number of sterilization programmes are being carried out in public places, to strengthen the joint mechanism of the govt to control the spread of the virus in the country, in the backdrop new coronavirus has been declared by the WHO as an epidemic. more..

Customs announces new arrangements in face of COVID-19 pandemic

Mar 25 (FT) SL Customs has made arrangements to provide services to importers, exporters and other agencies under the prevailing situation of the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The arrangements are applicable for both sea cargo and air cargo processes and will be implemented subject to health and safety measures notified by the Govt, especially to minimise human gathering, thus preventing the spread of this deadly decease. Therefore, Director General of Customs more..

Anuradhapura Prison mayhem: 30 inmates identified

Mar 25 (CT) Prisons Dept said they had identified some 30 inmates who had been behind the mayhem at the Anuradhapura Prison which took place on the evening of 21 March. A top officer from the Dept said that its probe team has already begun to record statements from the identified inmates as to why such an unruly incident had taken place. He further added that initial information revealed that besides the 30 inmates in Prison, more..

Twin battle and beyond

Mar 25 (ST) Gonny van den Bos and her husband, Jacque van den Bos, are our family friends from Holland. Gonny had sent us a mail a few days ago. This is part of what she wrote: “Now in Holland it’s all about coronavirus. Schools are closed. All bars, restaurants etc are closed. It is very strange. People get nervous and, buy so much so that shops are empty. Especially toilet paper and aspirin are hard to find.” This is not a case of Holland only, but of the entire Europe and the entire world. more..

Corona must be battled

Mar 25 (DN) Who would have thought that something sounding like a brand of one of those sleek fuel-efficient Japanese cars would pose such an existential threat to the entire human race! Ebola was a threat in far-a-way West Africa, SARS mainly a problem for the omnivorous Asians (Chinese!), Dengue strikes those who cannot keep a clean backyard, but this virus, Corona, is not discriminating; striking all colours, sizes and ages, with no respect for power or wealth. more..

Tokyo Olympics postponed over coronavirus pandemic

Mar 25 (AFP) The 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been postponed to no later than the summer of 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, the International Olympic Committee announced Tuesday. The Games were scheduled for July 24-August 9, but after telephone discussions between IOC president Thomas Bach and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, a historic joint decision was taken for more..

Donation to Sri Lanka by Temasek Foundation, Singapore

Mar 25 (FT) In light of the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, Temasek Foundation, Singapore has offered to provide 5000 numbers of Fortitude Kit 2.0 (COVID-19 test kits) to the Ministry of Health. The donation was handed over by Benedict Cheong, CEO of Temasek Foundation Int'l to High Commissioner Sashikala Premawardhane on 20th March. High Commission has promptly made arrangements to deliver the test kits to SL, which have been received by the Health authorities more..

Horrendous economic consequences of the corona pandemic

Mar 25 (ST) The corona pandemic is spreading like wild fire. Its economic consequences are severe, increasing and unpredictable. It is worse than a recession. It is a global economic shutdown and will impact severely on the SL economy. It has spread to more than 170 countries with over 270,000 persons tested positive. Its int'l ramifications are widespread, extensive and wide-ranging. Its duration is still uncertain and there is little prospect of an early containment of the pandemic more..

Pavithra Wanniarachchi

Dissolution of parliament: What next?

Mar 25 (CT) SL Parliament was dissolved, and the old set of MPs appear to be behaving like a disturbed hornet's nest, with fierce competition and bickering going on, concerning nominations of their names from the respective party lists. Chief Prelates of the Buddhist Monastic edifices, His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, Bishop of Colombo, along with a majority of the public are requesting party leaders not to recommend any previous tarnished names to be nominated from any party. more..

Sadistic ragging in SL universities

Mar 25 (CT) A dark era has dawned on SL's university system, as a first-year student, 21-year-old Pasindu Hirushan, from Kamaragoda in Minuwangoda, enrolled at the Management Faculty of the Sri J'pura University, lies in the ICU, connected to a life-support system, battling between life and death. Although the University Students' Union vehemently denies that it was due to a ragging incident, it is a fact that after a freshers' party on 5 March, group of senior students, more..

Covid-19 In Sri Lanka & South Asia

Mar 25 (CT) COVID 19 is more a panic than a pandemic: It obscures from view the fact that far more people die as a result of illness related to poverty, malnutrition, and other forms of structural violence than anything else in South Asia, and indeed the rest of the world. In the context, the govts of the region would need rational and targeted policy responses to the Covid 19 challenge – rather than days of country-wide curfew without more..

DEAD SCENE for local artistes

Mar 25 (Island) As the Covid-19 outbreak continues to spread globally, restrictions on travel, and large public gatherings, have resulted in practically all concerts and entertainment events being postposed, or cancelled, entirely…world-wide. WHO announced it is now on the highest level of alert, warning the public: "This virus may be on its way and you need to be ready." Fears over the outbreak have resulted in the local showbiz scene going completely dead, with no hope of a quick recovery. more..

COVID-19 and climate change: Weapons of Mass Destruction?

Mar 25 (FT) At the time of writing this article, COVID-19 has so far killed more than 10,000 people, and infected over 244,000 in more than 150 countries, and is likely to infect more and kill more people. No one is able to predict when the pandemic will end. A vaccine is at least 12 to 18 months away. The economic damage that is resulting from this pandemic is something the world has not experienced. This is going to create a major breakdown in the social order, more..

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

Mar 25 (Roar) This is a live blog about the COVID-19, that is spreading rapidly across the world. The latest developments, from both here and abroad, will be documented here. Tuesday, March 24: 19:28 Health Promotion Bureau data indicated that the total number of those with COVID-19 is 102. Five cases were reported today. 16:42 The number of active COVID-19 cases increases to 101, after 4 new cases were reported today. more..

Let us all be Keynesians & Fisherians to face this severe medical crisis

Mar 25 (CT) We are in a mess, so think some economists. They say banks are solvent this time unlike the Great Recession in 2008-2009. During the Great Recession the crisis was complex requiring the govt to bailout banks apart from major manufacturing companies. They further say that this time the problem is straight forward which is the containment of virus as banks are solvent. This notion is wrong. We are in a full-blown crisis. It appears that it's predominantly a health crisis more..

A brave President, A benumbed nation

Mar 25 (CT) On 17th March, Prez Rajapaksa concluded his address to the nation with a forthright fearless statement. “This country, that’s yours and mine, is secure today.” He exuded Confidence. Confidence makes a leader to go forward with faith. The leader’s demeanor dispels doubt amongst officials. The President in the statement embodied courage and sincerity. He was wrong of course. There is more to national security than contending with separatist terrorists & suicide bombers. more..

COVID -19 Special Report

Sri Lankans in Bangladesh want to return, writes to Prez

Mar 24 (DM) A group of Sri Lankans living in Bangladesh in a letter to Prez Rajapaksa has sought permission for Sri Lankans working in Bangladesh to return to SL. “We as a community feel it’s much safer to be in our Motherland and I earnestly request your kind approval in permitting our fellow Lankans to return to Colombo in anticipation of SriLankan airlines being allowed to operate the rout over the weekend dating 27th-29th of March," Prez of SL Association in B'desh, Angelo Leanage said. more..

Recent returnees from Italy never obtained visa from us: Italian embassy

Mar 24 (DM) Italian embassy in SL said ‘the returnees from Italy referenced in recent news publications have never obtained a visa from this Embassy, nor have ever requested one.’ “We would like to bring to the notice of readers that the returnees from Italy referenced in recent news publications have never obtained a visa from this Embassy, nor have ever requested one,” the embassy said. With regards to some news items on the Covid-19 situation in Italy that are more..

SriLankan Airlines staff in national mission braving Coronavirus face discrimination

Mar 24 (EN) Staff of SriLankan Airlines who are flying aircraft braving a global Coronavirus epidemic keeping Sri Lanka connecting to the world, bringing in vital medical and other supplies and also taking exports out is facing discrimination in society, the carrier said. “SriLankan Airlines appeals from the general public to respect its employees for their service to the country at a time of need,” the airline said in a statement. more..

2,405 arrested for violating curfew

Mar 24 (AD) A total of 2,405 curfew violators have been taken into custody so far since the curfew was re-imposed at 6 p.m. on Friday (20). In the meantime, 646 vehicles including motorcycles and three-wheelers have also been seized along with the arrestees. A majority of the arrests were for loitering along the roads while people have also been arrested over incidents of gathering and consuming alcohol, travelling by vehicle on the roads, keeping restaurants open, behaving in an unruly more..

Coronavirus cases in SL reaches 102

Mar 24 (NR) Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe says of the four new coronavirus cases identified today, three are returnees from Italy while the other is a returnee from the United States. He said a majority of the COVID-19 cases identified in the country are Sri Lankans who arrived in Sri Lanka from overseas. He said of the 101 coronavirus cases reported in the country 21 are from the Colombo District, 13 from Kalutara District and 10 from Gampaha District. more..