ECONOMYNEXT – This week saw an escalation of Sri Lanka’s looming COVID-19 crisis as daily cases hit a record 1,662 yesterday after officials confirmed that the fast-spreading B.1.1.7 strain is now the dominant variant of SARS-CoV-2 in the country. The announcement came days after officials said that state hospitals were running out ICUs with more and more younger people being admitted with severe symptoms.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s per capita gross domestic product has dropped to 3,682 US dollars per person amid a 3.6 percent fall in real GDP and monetary instability, even as the epidemic is threatening to cause further devastation. The government has also decided to ban the import and use of fertilizer, insecticide and weedicide in a bid to save foreign exchange.
On the political front, a young man who had allegedly instigated a honk protest during a Chinese VIP visit was taken into police custody yesterday and later released on bail.
Sri Lanka’s ruling party has decided to forego May Day celebrations today, with two major opposition parties taking their celebrations online as a result of the COVID-19 spike.
This is a quick look at these and other developments that transpired this week, in today’s edition of the EN Weekly Roundup.
With the highly contagious B.1.1.7 variant of COVID-19 now confirmed to be the dominant strain in Sri Lanka, authorities are scrambling to prevent an unmitigated public health crisis à la India even as state hospitals run out of intensive care units (ICUs) amid record daily cases.
Sri Lanka police arrested a 31-year-old motorist this morning alleged to have instigated a honking protest at the Borella junction on April 27 when visiting Chinese defence minister General Wei Fenghe’s motorcade was passing through.
Sri Lanka’s per capita gross domestic product has dropped to 3,682 US dollars per person amid a 3.6 percent fall in real GDP.
Sri Lanka’s daily confirmed Coronavirus cases has hit a new high of 1,662 with 1,636 coming from the community, Heath Ministry data showed, amid warnings that hospital workers were getting rapidly fatigued from a flood of COVID-19 cases.
Sri Lanka will ban import and use of fertilizer, insecticide and weedicide on which hundreds of millions of dollars and give subsidies to farmers for cross losses, according to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a statement said.
Sri Lanka will not receive the next consignment of the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine at the expected window due to the prevailing situation in India, a health official said.
The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) will oppose any move to arrest main opposition Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) MP Harin Feranndo over a controversial statement he made in parliament last week, SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara said.
The Sri Lanka embassy in Kuwait has repatriated 6,000 out of 9,000 stranded Sri Lankan migrant workers who had signed up for repatriation, the embassy said.