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Monday December 5th, 2022

Sri Lanka extends Coronavirus curfew, COVID-19 count 91

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka lifted a Coronavirus curfew in many parts of the island Monday morning, but extended it for another three days, as latest health ministry data showed confirmed COVID-19 cases going up to 87.

Sri Lanka’s government warned families not to send older people to shops, only one person to go, maintain a one meter distance at least in a queue or with other customers and stay as little time as possible inside a store.

Sri Lanka’s government warned families not to send older people out shopping and requested that only one person to

Shoppers are also advised to maintain a one-meter distance with other customers, at least while standing in a queue, and spend as little time as possible inside the store’s premises.

Curfew Extended

After lifting at 0600 hours on Tuesday, curfew will be re-imposed in the districts of Colombo, Puttalam, and Gampaha and districts in the north of Sri Lanka until 0600 am Friday 27, the government said.

Curfew in other districts will continue from Monday till Thursday 0600h.

“All inter-district travel is stricltly prohibited,” the president’s media office said in a statement.

Tourists have also been asked not to travel. During curfew farmers are allowed to cultivate.

Related

Sri Lanka bans inter-district travel, curfew extended 3 days after break

Count

The head of Sri Lanka’s health service said 05 new cases were confirmed Monday taking the total COVID-19 patient count to 91.

Health Minister Pavithra Wanniaracchi told privately-owned Derana TV that nine new cases were confirmed overnight with the four from Kaluthara.

One of these was a person who had been with a pastor from Switzerland who had visited Sri Lanka’s north. Another was from the National Hospital Colombo while one other from Welikanda was a quarantined returnee from Italy.

At the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) in Colombo, a tourist guide was confirmed as having contracted the virus. Two others also reported from IDH.

Minister Wanniaracchi said there were a mother and daughter confirmed in the Kalutara hospital. A tourist driver and his father were also reported from the Kalutara hospital.

Sri Lanka’s central bank asked banks to remain open for at least two hours in areas where curfew was lifted. The head offices of all banks are in Colombo.

Essential Services

Sri Lanka’s state information office quoted the acting police chief as saying bankers could go to work using their office identification as a curfew pass.

Related

Sri Lanka banks to open 2 hours when coronavirus curfew lifts, online banking urged

As coronavirus curfew lifts Sri Lanka retailers to restrict entry limit panic buying

“What we will do in supermarkets first off is to restrict the number of people coming into the outlet at a given time to maintain social distancing,” Sri Lanka Retailers Association Vice President Charita Subasinghe, who also heads the retail sector of John Keells Holdings, told EcononyNext.

“We will get the support of the police to manage that part of it.”

“We are also going to restrict the number of units of a product that a person can purchase so that customers will not go on a buying spree for the sake of buying. That way, everyone gets a chance to buy.

“Hopefully, what we want to do from tomorrow is simply to restrict unnecessary buying. However, it is not because of a shortage,” he said.

Related

Sri Lanka ramps up chloroquine output, public warned not to take as preventive drug

Old Drug

Sri Lanka is also ramping up production of chloroquine, an old anti-malarial drug that has shown progress in speeding up COVID-19 recovery.

“The medical supply division has given us a purchase order to manufacture 500,000 chloroquine tablets, which was carried out in under 24 hours,” Uthpala Indrawansa, a medical doctor who is Chairman of the State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation (SPMC), told EconomyNext.

“This treatment is only for patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and should not be administered to anyone without a prescription under a medical consultant,” he said.

Sri Lankans have been warned not to take chloroquine, a drug which is due to undergo a clinical trial in the US to find determine dosages and effectiveness to treat already infected patients.

“There has been a view that taking chloroquin will prevent the infection of COVID-19 virus,” Anil Jasinghe, head of Sri Lanka’s Health Service, said Sunday.

“I have consulted a team of 12 specialists in the field and I was told through data and other analysis that this drug cannot prevent infection.

“This drug can be administered to patients who are already infected with COVID-19 and that also only in a hospital situation. I urge you not to purchase this drug and self-administer, as it will not prevent infection.”

Interest in the drug had shot up after President Trump said the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the nod for a broader clinical trial after researchers found that it appeared to help novel coronavirus patients recover faster in a smaller study.

Sri Lanka has said there are enough stocks of fuel in the country as are foodstuffs. Ports and airports remain open for cargo.

Ships and aircraft are still arriving the country, but inbound arrivals are halted until at least March 25. (Colombo/March23/2020)

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Sri Lanka proposed power tariff not to recover past losses: Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – The government has not proposed a power tariff increase to recover past losses, Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera in response to a statement attributed the head of the power regulator commission.

“The proposal that was presented was for an automatic cost reflective tariff mechanism to be implemented to supply uninterrupted power & to recover the current cost of power supply,” Minister Wijesekera said in twitter.com message.

“Govt has not proposed to recover past loses of CEB from a tariff revision…”

The cabinet of ministers had given the nod tariff revisions twice a year to prevent large losses from building up as in the past.

The Public Utilities Commission has disputed costs protected for the power utility saying the petroleum utility was keeping large margins in selling fuel.

The government in a budget for 2022 also proposed to tax surcharge to recover losses.

The regulator also disputed power demand forecasts.

Also read; Sri Lanka regulator disputes CEB costs, demand projections for 2023

The PUCSL cannot increase tariffs to recover past losses, Chairman Janaka Ratnayake said. (Colombo/Dec05/2022)

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Sri Lanka’s shares gain in mid market trade

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s shares edged up in mid day trade on Monday (05), continuing the positive run for seven straight sessions on news over a possible debt restructuring from Paris Club, analysts said.

All Share Price Index gained by 0.69% or 60.10 points to 8,829, while the most liquid shares gained by 0.96% or 26.59 points to 2,801.

“The market was pushed up over the news of a potential 10 year debt moratorium,” analysts said.

The Paris Club group of creditor nations has proposed a 10-year debt moratorium on Sri Lankan debt and 15 years of debt restructuring as a formula to resolve the island nation’s prevailing currency crisis. 

Related – Paris Club proposes 10-year moratorium in 15-year Sri Lanka debt re-structure: report

The market generated a revenue of 2.1 billion rupees.

Top gainers during 1130 hours were Expolanka, Browns Investment and LOLC.  (Colombo/Dec05/2022)

 

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Sri Lanka bond yields slightly down

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s bond yields were slightly down at open on Monday while t- bills were inactive, dealers said.

The Central Bank’s guidance peg for interbank transactions was at 363.18 rupees against the US dollar, appreciated from 363.19 rupees on Friday.

“Only one bond is being quoted today, and the rest remaining unquoted” a dealer said.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2026 quoted at 29.30/30.00 percent down from 29.50/75 percent at Friday’s close.(Colombo/ Dec 03/2022)

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