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Sri Lanka gets Rs550mn grant from ADB for Covid-19 test kits, PPE

ECONOMYNEXT – Manila-based Asian Development Bank said it is giving Sri Lanka a 3 million dollar grant from its Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund, re-financed by Japan to help continue a fight against Coronavirus.

“ADB is strongly committed in supporting Sri Lanka at this crucial time,” ADB Country Director for Sri Lanka Chen Chen said in a statement.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a serious public health issue and will significantly impact not only Sri Lanka’s overall social well-being but also its economic development if not contained, managed, and treated in an effective and timely manner.”

The ADB is also giving a million US dollar grant for the private sector to buy emergency medical supplies.

ADB said the grant will fund the purchase of test kits, diagnostic reagents, personal protective equipment, and essential medical supplies.

Sri Lanka has made strong progress in containing Coronavirus and is behind only a few countries in the world such as Vietnam.

But had identified an unusual reluctance by authorities to test anyone outside a hospital setting including, close contacts, those in quarantine, frontline workers, high-risk group and random community, which led to spikes in infections.

Many of the gaps have since been closed. But authorities are still not testing those released from quarantine or hospital, according to a published updated testing algorithm, unlike Vietnam which is perhaps the most successful county in containing Covid-19.

“We are grateful to the Asian Development Bank for stepping in a timely manner to provide assistance to Sri Lanka to meet the immediate expenses necessary in managing this COVID-19 emergency,” Treasury Secretary S R Attygalle said.

“This grant assistance will help provide life-saving services to the affected population.”

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ADB said it had set aside a 20 billion US dollar response package to help countries affected by the crisis. (Colombo/June10/2020)