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Coronavirus curfew loosening mulled after New Year, Covid-19 count 166

Apr 5 (EN) Sri Lanka is mulling the relaxation of some Coronavirus restrictions in less risky areas after an April New Year season, but current curfews will continue for the moment, the President’s office said after a review of the country’s anti-Covid-19 drive. “..-[I}t was observed that except for the few districts identified as high risk zones where the most number of COVID-19 patients were found, the spread of the virus at present more..

‘Massive investment plan needed to lift economy’

Apr 5 (SO) Since SL is heavily dependent on the global economy which is estimated to recover not earlier than 2023 its growth will be severely stunted this year and the ensuing years, said former CB Deputy Governor W.A. Wijewardena. World Bank projects growth in the Asian region would slow to 2.1% this year from 5.8% last year and the global pandemic will prevent nearly 24 million people from escaping poverty in East Asia and the Pacific.IMF and OECD have revised downwards its more..

Milco milks over Rs. 15 m through online orders

Apr 5 (TM) State-owned milk producer Milco (Pvt.) Ltd. has made a massive volume of online sales within the initial hours of the launch of its website last Wednesday, according to the company. On its official Facebook page, the company wrote that it has received over 6,200 orders worth Rs. 15 million within five hours since the launch of its website and thanked Highland Milk customers for placing faith in its products. A sales dashboard attached to the post noted Highland Butter – Salted as more..

Local athletes continue to receive funding

Apr 5 (CT) Five local athletes' who receive support through the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Solidarity Scholarship programme, will continue to receive funding for another year, as the programme has been extended until the Tokyo Olympic Games takes place next year. 2020 Games was postponed due to Covid-19 pandemic and is now scheduled to take place from 24 July to 9 Aug 2021. Accordingly, four programmes - more..

Ban on import of more luxury items

Apr 5 (ST) The list of banned imported luxury items is to be expanded and the period of ban is to vary from three months to six months to stop a foreign exchange outflow of about US$ 500 million, Govt has decided. Selected luxury food items and ready-made garments will be among the items that will be prohibited to be imported in an attempt overcome the financial crisis created by the spread of the coronavirus. The moves were discussed at the Cabinet this week and the banned items’ list more..

'HIV patients must continue medication'

Apr 5 (CT) The National Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) / AIDS Control Programme stressed the need for HIV positive patients to continue their medication, as the threat posed to their lives by COVID-19 was more owing to their already weakened immune systems. Deputy Director (Consultant Venereologist) of the Programme, Dr. Lilani Rajapaksha explained that HIV positive patients had to continue medication, if their bodies were to have any resistance to COVID-19. more..

SL starts taxing Lanka IOC for low oil prices

Apr 5 (TM) The SL Govt has increased the duty on petroleum imports of Lanka Indian Oil Corporation (Lanka IOC) with effect from 13 March, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. “This increased duty came into effect about three weeks ago. This is in addition to the taxes that are already being charged on the imported petroleum products,” he stated. The import duty has been increased to prevent excessive profits being made by more..

Hotels for quarantine

Apr 5 (ST) SL Army (SLA) has taken over the operations of the Club Dolphin Hotel in Waikkal run by the Hemas group converting it to a quarantine centre. The hotel was among two others that were offered to the government in order to meet the requirements of the necessary number of quarantine centres and provide space for medical staff to stay in. No guest is staying at the hotel. In this respect, the medical staff of the Negombo hospitals that required to be quarantined for a period of more..

NZ women postpone cricket tour of Sri Lanka

Apr 5 (SO) New Zealand has postponed its women’s cricket tour of SL that was scheduled to begin in late April, its CEO David White said. White said the men’s tour of Scotland, Ireland, Netherlands and the West Indies, slated through June-July earlier, is unlikely to take place. “Clearly, this situation is extremely disappointing for everyone involved in sport but, given the bigger picture, and the terrible toll COVID-19 is taking worldwide, we need to look after not only our own people but more..

Ceylon Tea to be promoted as corona blocker

Apr 5 (TM) The Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) has devised a plan to promote Ceylon black tea globally as an authentic premium wellness drink that could act prevent Covid-19 by improving the immune system. This strategy has been formulated by SLTB Chairman Jayampathi Molligoda to boost the popularity of Ceylon Tea in international markets and bring in foreign exchange which is desperately needed by SL’s coronavirus-hit economy. more..

Apparel industry to lay off 30% workforce

Apr 5 (ST) SL’s apparel industry is likely to lay off at least 3o% of its workers including permanent cadres even as they receive global orders to manufacture face masks and surgical gowns. “At least 30% of the workforce of the entire apparel industry is likely to get laid off including permanent staff as well,” SLAEA Chairman Rehan Lakhany said. He noted that some factories had decided to pay some salaries like about 70% of the workers’ dues as they face mounting issues with costs soaring more..

Sri Lanka starts 1390 Coronavirus hotline to call for Covid-19 symptoms

Apr 5 (EN) Sri Lanka is starting a hotline with the number 1390 for those with symptoms similar to Coronavirus to call which will be manned by over 100 doctors, the head of SL’s Health Service Anil Jasinghe said. “This call centre is provided with the technology of Dialog (Axiata),” Jasinghe said. “Don’t go here and there call the hotline and they will give you the advice. If you should be admitted they will direct you to the nearest hospital.” He said the call center could also make arrangements fo more..

Apparel sector struggling to pay salaries from this month onwards

Apr 5 (TM) Sri Lanka’s top apparel exporters could struggle to pay salaries to their massive workforce from this month onwards due to the lack of working capital across the industry, according to Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) Chairman A. Sukumaran. “While most companies have pledged to pay March salaries, a vast majority of the industry will struggle to pay salaries from the end of April onwards,” more..

Big matches that escaped or cheated a virus

Apr 5 (SO) The Coronavirus could not impact much on SL school cricket and spoil it because it hit the country during the latter part of the local inter-school season. By the time the Coronavirus became deadly, almost all the final league round school matches were concluded. Even the key four Colombo big matches – Royal-Thomian, Ananda-Nalanda, Josephian-Peterite and Thurstan-Isipatana had been concluded when Coronavirus brought sport & everything else to a complete standstill. more..

Rugby clubs to get back voting rights

Apr 5 (ST) Former Royal College, CR&FC and SL forward Lasitha Gunaratne was renowned for bulldozing his way through opposing defences during his playing days. As a prop forward, his hulking frame was used as a battering ram to break the hearts of defenders. He proved that rugby was not all about brawn as he enjoyed similar success as a tear-away number 8. Gunaratne has had a roller-coaster ride since taking over as President of Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) two years ago but more..

Covid-19 Situation

Serendib Flour Mills says has ample flour stocks

Apr 5 (ST) Serendib Flour Mills (SFML), one of the main wheat flour suppliers in Sri Lanka, has assured the general public of its commitment to ensure that there are ample stocks of wheat flour available in the market. In a public statement, the company confirmed that the current situation in the country has not adversely affected the operations of its production which is running around the clock and manned by the customary workforce. As a result, the company is able to continue to offer more..

EPF dormant accounts hits new high

Apr 5 (ST) Many Sri Lankans are in the habit of changing jobs frequently and they may have several EPF accounts and at least one or more could be inoperative. This was due to the practice of opening a new account for them by employers, and employees may have forgotten to transfer, amalgamate or withdraw money from their previous accounts, which become dormant. According to estimates, over 1.8 million EPF accounts are inactive with an accumulated amount of more..

Continuity: De Mel’s mantra

Apr 5 (ST) Chief cricket selector Ashantha De Mel often speaks of continuity to give players a fair run in the team. The strategy seems to be bearing fruit. SL’s 3-0 triumph against West Indies in the ODIs came against the backdrop of resolute selection, something that will be adhered to again as the team prepares for the World T20 qualifiers in Australia later this year. “We are trying to give them a fair run of at least four to five games at a stretch,” more..

The migrant’s dream is a nightmare

Apr 5 (SO) Sri Lankans were told go West, and they went. It was a part of the world that was supposed to offer opportunity, and a shot at the European or American dream. Health care was supposed to be the best available, or at least the best that money could buy. So people jumped on boats if they were desperate but if they were not, they perennially entertained the dream of leaving. Life in any Western country was supposed to be infinitely better than on this beautiful island. more..

Stay home, save lives

Apr 5 (SO) SL was one of the few countries that took proactive measures very early, at the onset of the pandemic to curb its spread. Judging by the rapid progress of the disease in countries such as Italy, USA, Spain and France, SL’s early actions may have saved countless lives. In fact, these measures came in for praise from none other than the WHO Chief Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus. Tedros praised the SL Govt’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak in a telephone call with Prez Rajapaksa and more..

MR, RW insist the need to shun all kinds of differences and combat COVID-19

Apr 5 (CT) An all party meeting was called once again last Thursday (2) at Temple Trees under the patronage of PM Mahinda Rajapaksa to discuss issues pertaining to ongoing health and relief measures taken in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. All party Leaders who arrived at Temple Trees had to undergo a body temperature check at the entrance, followed by a disinfection process, in keeping with medical standards that more..

Are we on the cusp of a Deflationary Depression?

Apr 5 (Island) So-called market analysts, stockbrokers, day-traders and the pack you see on Bloomberg, CNBC and like channels and whose columns the untutored read like scripture in the New York Times, Economist and the Financial Times are blithering empiricists. “It didn’t rain yesterday, take a peek out of the window it looks fine this evening, so it will be a clear sunny day tomorrow”. That’s as good as their analytical methodology gets. OK, to be fair, they do look at company balance sheets more..

Helping your children switch from survival mode to thrive mode

Apr 5 (Island) Why can’t we go out of the house?, When will school start? When can I see my friends again? these are some of the common questions parents are bombarded with during this lock-down. While it is natural for parents themselves to be anxious and stressed in this crisis hour, at the same time it is important for them to be empowered to make their young children feel secure. “Children are affected by the mental state of people close to them, thus for children to feel secure, more..

Travel Girl: Colombo

New Year Blues

Apr 5 (Island) It is now a commonly known fact that the Chinese New Year holidays, during which possibly tens of millions or more Chinese people travel to their homes, accelerated the spread of the coronavirus in that country and the wider world. Although SL's population does not run into the billions as in China and India, we all know that tens of thousands of our own countrymen and women go their home villages to celebrate the Sinhala & Hindu New Year which is fast approaching. more..

Just Stay Home

Apr 5 (CT) By the time this edition was finalised, police have arrested over 12,000 persons for violating the curfew and nearly 3,000 vehicles have been taken into custody, ever since curfew was imposed on 20 March evening, as a step towards curbing the coronavirus pandemic, which has now taken the entire world hostage. Within the 24 hours ending at 6a.m. on Saturday (4) alone, 1,493 persons were arrested and 360 vehicles taken into custody. more..

14 days in Punani

Apr 5 (ST) It was in March, amidst the COVID-19 outbreak that I flew to Dusseldorf airport for a 10-day training while completing my third semester exams as an M.Sc student in laboratory animal science at the RWTH International Academy, Aachen University, Germany. Wearing a mask to safeguard myself against the virus, I approached a six-foot German in a black suit for information at the airport following customs clearance, more..

Empower the President to manage Covid-19

Apr 5 (CT) A sizable percentage, if not the majority of the country’s intelligentsia, opposed Gotabaya Rajapaksa‘s candidacy for the Presidency. The former Secretary Defense and, subsequently, also for Urban Development, acquired a reputation between 2005 and 2015. Strongman’ and Dictator were some of his uncomplimentary nicknames. Some tried to prevent him from contesting the Presidential election on the basis; he had yet to surrender his American citizenship. more..

COVID-19 and the great hoax of discipline and order

Apr 5 (ST) When Sri Lanka’s acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) instructed all police officers to ‘take legal action against those who publish posts on social media criticising govt officials and obstructing their duties’ as reported on 1st April 2020, one might have been forgiven for speculating that this was grim humor befitting the day of all fools in question. But that fleeting impression was soon dispelled with. It appeared that the police was deadly serious. more..

As food suppliers make profit, monk courts mass arrest to feed hungry people

Apr 5 (ST) Compelled to remain indoors due to the prolonged curfew, the main woe for most Sri Lankans has become their food. Some have managed to stock them whilst others lapped up whatever remained at supermarkets. The head of the 40-member Presidential Task Force, Special Envoy Basil Rajapaksa assigned Grama Niladharis to recommend curfew passes to grocery shop owners and food suppliers to deliver stocks more..

Thoughts on economic recovery & Return to normalcy after Covid-19

Apr 5 (CT) All countries are compelled to implement draconian measures to curtail peoples’ liberties and impose punishment to law breakers in the fight against Covid-19. Sri Lanka cannot be an exception to this norm. People are indeed living in unprecedented times and they have to put up with unprecedented restrictions in the interest of greater good. One should give credit to Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa for taking some decisive steps albeit little late in combating the spread of deadly virus. more..

Bigotry’s virus found amidst dead man’s ashes

Apr 5 (ST) Adversity, it is said, makes the strangest bedfellows. But, alas, for Lanka even that little redeeming grace seems denied. In the cauldron of mankind’s despair and tragedy, is brewed the devil’s bewildering corona concoction, its noxious vapors engulfing the world with fear and dread, its lethal droplets bringing death everywhere it falls, its global unseen presence only discerned by the body count. And, with its effortless country hopping, successfully defying the barricades more..

Three more COVID-19 patients found, cases tally climbs to 162

Apr 4 (AD) Three more patients have tested positive for COVID-19 bringing the total number of cases to 162. He said that three of the 11 patients who tested positive for the virus over the course of yesterday and today were from Jaffna quarantine centre. Another two patients, who had returned from South Korea and the United States were also found from a quarantine centre. One of these 11 patients was found from more..

Nursing officers to withdraw from all health services

Apr 4 (DM) Govt Nursing Officers' Association said today that it has decided to withdraw from all health services islandwide due to alleged ill-treatment of nursing officers and lack of recognition of their services. In a letter to the Health Ministry Secretary, Association headed by Saman Rathnapriya had stressed that its officers had been engaging in health services regardless of the threat of prevailing pandemic situation. However, the association said the officers have not been granted more..

Navy assists transfer of essential supplies to Delft Island for distribution

Apr 4 (SLN) The Navy, on 3rd Apr, rendered assistance to transfer essential supplies to the Delft Island for distribution among community. As a measure to curb the spread of novel coronavirus in the country, the government introduced a new mechanism to deliver essential supplies to the doorstep of community. Going by this initiative, Navy conducted a programme to transfer essential commodities, drawn from Sathosa outlets, to the Delft Island by naval craft and distribute them more..

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