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Monday April 15th, 2024

Sri Lanka finds 300 Coronavirus cases as Kandakadu cluster expands, over 1000 to be tested

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has confirmed 300 new Coronavirus cases on July 10 as authorities traced and tested inmates, staff and contacts of two drug rehabilitation centres and a top official said contacts and visitors the centres are being traced and quarantined quickly.

Authorities had brought back staff on leave and intelligence officers also quarantining visitors who had seen 116 inmates on July 04, Sri Lanka’s military chief Shavendra Silva was quoted as saying by the state information office.

Sri Lanka has got results of 375 tests conducted among 1,150 staff and inmates of two camps run by the Ministry of Justice in Kandakadu and Senapura in Polonnaruwa district, General Silva said and more results were due later on July 10 and July 11.

A quarantine camp in Kandakadu run by the military has been converted into a hospital to treat them.

General Silva said there was a total of 1,150 inmates directed by court to the rehabilitation centre and staff.

By the morning of July 10, tests results of 375 test showed that another 196 had Coronavirus, taking the total found to 253.

“It is likely that more will be found,” General Silva said. “The results are expected later on July 10 and the next morning.”

By 2030 hours 300 cases had been confirmed health ministry data showed.

Sri Lanka had confirmed 2450 Coronavirus cases by 9 July with 296 being confirmed on July 10 according to health ministry data

Staff of the drug rehabilitation centres who had gone on leave had been located and brought back, General Sival said. Their family members have been asked to self-isolate.

General Silva said in May and April no visitors were allowed to come to the centres.

But on July 04, 116 persons were allowed to meet relatives under social distancing.

Intelligence officers now tracing and quarantining them.

“Some have already been quarantined,” General Silva said. “We are taking action to stop the transmission of this virus to the community.”

The cluster was first discovered when an infected person was confirmed in Colombo’s Welikada prison who had been transferred there from a drug rehabilitation camp in Kandakadu.

Staff and inmates of Welikada prison had tested negative to PCR tests. Usually, it takes 14 days or more for contacts to develop the disease. The statement did not say whether they will be isolated and tested again.

After testing those connected to the Kandakadu rehabilitation 57 had been confirmed. Among them was a camp counselor, who had gone on leave to Marawila, Naththandiya.

Her parents and neighbhours have been taken to a quarantine centre.

The statement did not say whether they had been tested. If they test positive a second level of contacts have to be isolated.

Upul Rohana, a public health inspector told local television that political rallies had been held in the area without proper social distancing. (Colombo/July10/2020)

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Sri Lanka to discuss two contentious points with bondholders: report

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka and sovereign bondholders are to discuss two matters in the near future which the two sides failed to reach agreement at March talks in London, a media report quoting a top aide to President Wickremesinghe as saying.

Sri Lanka and bondholders had discussed four matters on restructuring international sovereign bonds in late March and agreement had been reached on two, President’s Chief of Staff Sagala Ratnayake was quoted as saying on state-run ITN television.

A restructuring proposal by bondholders was not in line with IMF requirements, and Sri Lanka had sent a counter proposal, he said.

The matters will be discussed at round of talks in the near future.

Sri Lanka was optimistic of reaching an agreement with the bondholders before June, officials have said.

According to matters already in the public domain, sovereign bond holders are keen to get a bond tied to dollar gross domestic product, as they feel IMF growth projections are too low.

In past re-structuring so-called value recovery instruments, a type of warrant, gave their owners extra payments if a country did better than expected and were tied to items like oil prices.

Bondholders had initially proposed bond which would have a lower hair cut initially, and it will have additional hair cuts if growth is low (about 3.1 percent) as projected in an IMF debt sustainability analysis. (Colombo/Apr15/2024)

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BIMSTEC Secretary General visits Sri Lanka, discusses regional cooperation

ECONOMYNEXT – The Secretary General of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), discussed measures to enhance regional cooperation, during his visit to the island last week.

Ambassador Indra Mani Pandey, Secretary General of BIMSTEC visited Sri Lanka from 07 – 12 April 2024, following his assumption of office as Secretary General of BIMSTEC in January this year.

The Secretary General “met with senior officials of relevant Ministries/Agencies to discuss measures to enhance regional cooperation under various BIMSTEC initiatives,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Several BIMSTEC countries have bilateral trade agreements, such as Sri Lanka and India, Thailand and Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand, but no collective regional agreement to enable intra-regional leverage.

During the visit, Secretary General Pandey held discussions with Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials and paid courtesy calls on the President and the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Secretary General Pandey participated at an event on “Regional Cooperation through BIMSTEC” organized by the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute (LKI) on 9 April. (Colombo/April15/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes weaker at 299.00/10 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 299.00/10 to the US dollar in the spot forex market on Monday, from 298.50/55 on Wednesday, dealers said, while bond yields were broadly steady.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed stable at 11.30/35 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed stable at 11.90/12.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2028 closed at 12.10/20 percent up from 12.10/15 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed stable at 12.20/40 percent. (Colombo/Apr15/2024)

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