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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..

PUCSL to provide solutions for electrical system & plumbing issues of households

Apr 4 (AD) The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) will implement a special service to provide immediate solutions to the issues of electrical systems and plumbing of the households of electricity and water consumers, during the curfew period with effect from tomorrow. This service is jointly carried out with the CEB, LECO and National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWS&DB). more..

Teen stabs PHI on coronavirus duty

Apr 4 (AD) A Public Health Inspector (PHI) attached to the Rambukkana Public Health Office has been attacked with a sharp weapon while on COVID-19 prevention duty. The attack had taken place at around 3 pm this afternoon in the Paththampitiya area. Rambukkana Police have commenced investigations into the incident with regard to obstruction of duties and assault with a sharp weapon. PHI injured in the attack has been admitted to Rambukkana Hospital for treatment. more..

No fuel shortage or price hike- Govt

Apr 4 (NR) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says the Sri Lankan Rupee could depreciate further against the US Dollar and may hit the Rs.200 mark in the next couple of days. Minister said the upward movement of the US dollar has impacted the importation of oil. He stressed that despite the depreciation of the rupee and the global crisis, the Sri Lankan public will not experience a fuel shortage. Minister said the govt will not increase the prices of fuel under such circumstances. more..

Reports of lockdown of the Country false: Police

Apr 4 (DM) Reports circulating on social media of a complete lockdown enforced from April 10 to 15 where food supply and delivery would be suspended are completely false, Police spokesman said. He said the false reports indicated that during the supposed lockdown, the law will strictly be enforced, where vehicles vending products such as bakery items will not be permitted to operate while no retail operations will be allowed to be carried out. more..

172 returnees at Iranamadu SLAF quarantine centre leave for homes

Apr 4 (SLAF) 172 passengers who returned from overseas arrived at the SLAF Quarantine Centre at Iranamadu on the 20th of March. This Quarantine Centre operated by the SL Air Force was established on the instructions of the Commander of the Air Force, Air Marshal Sumangala Dias. The entire operation of this Quarantine Centre was managed by SLAF Station Iranamadu under the supervision of the Commanding Officer, Group Captain UPYR Pathirana. more..

Stop seeking political gains from COVID-19 situ: EC

Apr 4 (DM) National Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya today requested all parties not to politicise or seek political gains from the COVID-19 relief distribution. He said it has been noted that a handful of politicians from among those distribute relief had resorted to social media to seek political gains from the relief distribution. "It is praiseworthy and commendable the efforts of various stakeholders of the society including religious leaders, business community, more..

Appeal by Muslim community leaders to curb COVID-19 pandemic

Apr 4 (AD) Muslim leaders in SL have made an appeal to the Muslim community to adhere to the measures to be taken by community, regional and other leaders in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement penned by community 17 Muslim organizations, it was emphasized that non-adherence to the preventive measures will result in the spread of the virus and that “any Muslims who violate any more..

Sri Lanka partial airport shutdown extended indefinitely over Coronavirus

Apr 4 (EN) SL has extended a ban on arriving passengers at the island’s airports indefinitely, though cargo, departing and transit passengers would continue to be allowed. “…[A]ccording to instructions received from Health Authorities, all international Airports in Sri Lanka will continue to be closed for the operation of inbound international commercial passenger flights (i.e. arrivals) until further notice,” the CAA told airlines. “This closure will be reviewed by the SL Authorities.” more..

Second group proceeds home after quarantine at Boossa Naval Base

Apr 4 (AD) Second batch of persons who successfully completed their quarantine process at the quarantine centre established at Boossa Naval Base, have left for their homes yesterday. Accordingly, 6 Sri Lankans, on completion of their quarantine process at the quarantine centre established at Boossa Naval Base, proceeded home as the second batch, upon receiving Quarantine Certificate from Commanding Officer of SLNS Nipuna. more..

Covid-19 විශේෂ වැඩසටහන

GMOA says Quarantine Act, WHO guidelines allow cremation and burial of COVID-19 dead

Apr 4 (DM) GMOA wrote to Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe asking him to consult a team of experts in relevant areas such as public health, virology, judicial medicine, legal, and soil analysis, and decide on the best course of action with regard to the disposal of the bodies of those who die of COVID-19. GMOA said that the Quarantine Act allowed the option of both cremation and burial as methods of disposal of bodies while WHO guidelines also say both methods more..

Govt looks beyond current crisis to source export markets

Apr 4 (EN) The Ministry of Foreign Relations through its Mission network and in collaboration with the Export Development Board (EDB) is in the process of facilitating Sri Lankan exporters at this volatile time period to re-position themselves in the long run. In a statement, the ministry said that the Missions network had already assisted the EDB to obtain market information as well as address issues relevant to supply-side constraints in our key export sourcing countries. more..

63% Sri Lankans don’t think COVID-19 will spread into their area: Vanguard survey

Apr 4 (EN) Some 63% of Sri Lankans do not think that COVID-19 will spread into their areas, a survey showed. According to an island-wide survey carried out by Vanguard Survey (Pvt) Ltd across all nine provinces and various demographics between 29 and 31 March, less than 3% consider the novel coronavirus pandemic a serious issue. Despite it being a red zone, 57% in the western province think it will not spread. more..

25 COVID-19 patients recover in Sri Lanka

Apr 4 (NR) The number of persons who have recovered after testing positive for COVID-19 in the country has increased to 25. The Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health said another person who made a full recovery, after contracting the novel coronavirus was discharged from the IDH. Meanwhile, another 129 persons are currently receiving treatment at three hospitals. Health Ministry said 97 individuals including two foreign nationals are housed at the IDH in Colombo, more..

Authorities discuss to lockdown Colombo?

Apr 4 (DM) Top authoritative sources said yesterday that discussions were ongoing if Colombo can go for a lockdown for a few days in order to search for more infected people, as well as to stop a possible spread after recent patients were found from some areas. Sources said that so far a confirmed decision had not been reached but the matter was being discussed at the top level. Area police stations have also been prepared for a possible lock down but are awaiting further instructions. more..

Video: Sri Lanka confirms 5th COVID-19 death; positive cases reaches 159

Apr 4 (AD) A COVID-19 patient who was receiving treatment at Welikanda Hospital has succumbed to the virus. This death brings the total fatalities in the country to 5. The deceased has been identified as a 40-year-old who had returned from Italy recently. Sri Lanka has recorded 159 confirmed cases of coronavirus so far. According to Health Ministry, a total of 8 patients tested positive for the virus as of 10.10 pm on Friday (3). more..

Private Hospitals support and collaborate with Govt in battle against COVID-19

Apr 4 (Island) The Association of Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes (APHNH), has, in a statement to media, said they are fully committed to and will continue to be a contributing force to the healthcare services in the country, in this critical time of the coronavirus pandemic. To this effect, they have and will continue to diligently follow the government and health ministry directives in the fight against the spread, diagnosis and treatment. Health being an essential service, more..

Rupee falls further. Selling rate of US $ recorded at Rs.193.75

Apr 4 (AD) The Sri Lankan rupee slipped further against the US dollar as financial markets around the globe continued to feel jitters of coronavirus pandemic. According to the Central Bank of SL (CBSL) the current selling rate of the US Dollar today (03) stood at Rs. 193.75 and buying rate of the US dollar stood at Rs. 188.55. The rupee recorded a depreciation of 4.7% against the US dollar by 30 March 2020, latest External Sector Performance report of the CBSL outlined. more..

Cremation or burial for COVID-19 dead: Govt will always look at the bigger picture: MR

Apr 4 (CT) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa said that though people belonging to various faiths may have different views regarding the conducting of final rites of victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, Govt will always act looking at the bigger picture and will only act according to the guidance received from the health officers. He made these remarks while responding to questions raised by former Muslim MPs at the allparty conference held on 2 Apr more..

Hutch unveils 100% Anytime Data without night-time quotas

Apr 4 (FT) In a significant move, Hutch announced it had started offering its subscribers 100% Anytime Data packages without any night-time quotas. Customers will no longer have to wait till midnight to access their night-time quotas and be worried of running out of quotas to use during the daytime, Hutch said. “With the Hutch Anytime Data revolution, now prepaid customers have the opportunity to enjoy their full data quota and surf the internet with much freedom anytime of the day.” more..

Police band sings to cheer families locked down in Maradana

Apr 4 (TM) Police band was seen singing to entertain families who were subject to lock down in Maradana, today (3). The police had organised the band after completing a coronavirus awareness program in the area. Residents in Arnold Ratnayake Mawatha in Maradana were subjected to quarantine within their homes after a person in the area had died upon contracting COVID-19 late Wednesday. 300 individuals who had contact with the COVID-19 patient who died were directed to more..

SL uses pandemic to curtail free expression

Apr 4 (HRW) SL’s IGP has ordered police to arrest those who criticize officials involved in the coronavirus response, or share fake or malicious messages about the pandemic. According to the order, issued on April 1, officials are doing their utmost with much dedication to stop the spread of COVID 19, but those officials’ duties are being criticized, minor issues are being pointed out, and messages are being posted that scold more..

Lankan cricket stars involved in charity work

Apr 4 (DN) Many SL cricketers have taken part in charity work and distributed essential goods to the under privileged families around the country who are suffering due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Legendary spinner Muthiah Muralitharan has made a contribution of Rs. five million to the Presidential Task Force in their efforts to fight the Covid-19 epidemic. Former SL skipper Dinesh Chandimal has also taken the initiative to distribute dry rations to 60 families in Thalangama Grama Seva Division. more..

Engineering fraternity donates Rs. 9 m to President’s Fund

Apr 4 (DN) The Institution of Engineers SL (IESL) under the leadership of Eng. (Prof.) S B S Abayakoon, President IESL along with Public Service Engineers Union, National Water Supply & Drainage Board Engineers Union and CEB Engineers Union, donated Rs. 9 million to the COVID-19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund established by Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa, for fighting with deadly COVID-19 pandemic. The contributions included Rs. 1 million from more..

CP Leader says law deliberately delayed to save fraudsters

Apr 4 (Island) General Secretary of Communist Party and one-time Chairman of COPE Dew Gunasekera yesterday told The Island that the economy would have been certainly in much better shape to face debilitating Covid-19 fallout if the parliament had guaranteed financial discipline. Former lawmaker said that unfortunately due to the failure on the part of the parliament, the national economy was in a mess. more..

PHIs postpone trade union action for 2 weeks

Apr 4 (FT) Public Health Inspectors’ (PHI) Union decided to postpone their trade union action by two weeks to give time for the Govt to respond to their requests. Union earlier this week said they would suspend services from 4 April unless steps were taken to provide adequate safety gear, transport and other support services to PHIs countrywide. However, following discussions with Health Ministry, the union has decided to give the Govt two weeks within which to respond to their concerns. more..

Pregnant SL Coronavirus patient gives birth

Apr 4 (EN) A pregnant Coronavirus patient had given birth in Sri Lanka, the head of health service Anil Jasinghe said. “We found a Coronavirus patient from the area in Beruwala which had been locked down,” he said. “She gave birth without complications.” She had been treated at Kaluthara hospital. Sri Lanka confirmed 159 Coronavirus patients up to 2200h on April 03. Jasinghe said a 40 year old patient had passed away with pneumonia making him the 05 death, he had no complications. more..

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